BRUNSWICK, Md. (WDVM) — On Tuesday, the City of Brunswick had a historic local election day–both in the number of voters, and how those voters cast their ballots.
2,077 ballots were turned in for the local elections, totaling a 39-percent voter turnout. Officials say it’s one of the largest turnouts in the city’s history.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the city modified this year’s election process for the three open council member seats and the mayor position. Every registered voter was mailed a ballot to be returned either by mail or three different drop-off boxes. Not a single in-person vote was cast.
“For me personally, it was very different. We’re used to doing things a certain way, we didn’t stray from it but it threw us through some loops,” explained election organizer and city clerk, Carrie Myers.
On Wednesday, official results were announced. Former council member Nathan Brown now becomes the new mayor-elect after collecting 1650 votes against opponent Richard Gardner, who won 390 votes.
“I’m a lifelong resident and I feel I’ll be a successful mayor if I’m able to honor our past but really take hold of our future and show that Brunswick is here to put ourselves on the map and be a destination people talk about and want to come to,” Brown explained.
And for newly elected council member, Christopher Vigliotti, advancing the city’s places as a destination location means putting attention towards the historic downtown area.
“Everybody I’ve talked to has this dream and that’s the buildings that we can preserve and restore, we do. The ones that we can’t, we put something that’s respectful to the history in place,” Vigliotti explained.
Vigliotti also has ideas to promote local art, live music and festivals to bring in tourism.
Rounding out the council, incumbent candidates Angel White and Vaughn Ripley won re-election.
For Ripley, a heavy focus for his next term is resuming the Brunswick Youth Advisory Council. As a father of two, he says he’s seen firsthand how the pandemic has affected kids.
“Just watching them, I see it’s devastating. The youth council is going to be a big part of helping these guys find their barrings,” said Ripley.
The winning candidates will be sworn-in on Tuesday August, 11.
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