Maryland's voters headed to the polls Tuesday to take part in a ballot that usually in years past has played no role in deciding which Republican and Democrat get their party's nomination. That's because the nominee has already been chosen by the time Maryland voters go to the polls.
Not so this year, with candidates in both parties still vying to win the nomination.
Though some might think voters in these states would be excited to play a substantive role in this abnormal election year, many voters seem unenthusiastic, if not fatigued, after more than a year of campaigning.
“I’m a little exhausted. I’ll be honest, I’m physically exhausted with it all," Maryland voter Jamie Mahone told VOA. "There used to be a time where I was really excited when there was a debate on TV, and now I just turn it off which doesn’t make me sound like a very informed voter. But at this point I feel like I’ve heard all I can hear.”
Adam Fugal agreed, said he was disappointed with how the candidates have attacked one another on the campaign trail.
"It’s been very negative, very disheartening. There have been a lot of good ideas but a lot of negative campaigning…I’m not very happy," he said. "I think there are a lot of countries looking at America and thinking we’re crazy, and I kind of agree."
Fugal, like a few other voters VOA spoke with, voted for Republican John Kasich. Though Kasich is trailing significantly behind both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, many Republican voters are turning to him as a more moderate nominee.
Kasich has not won enough delegates to receive the nomination, but votes for him mean fewer votes for the frontrunner Trump, which would potentially prevent him from gaining the nomination before the convention in July.
Voters arrive at a polling station at Watkins Mill Elementary School in Montgomery Village, Maryland, April 26, 2016.
Not all Maryland voters are able to participate in this process of picking a nominee. In the state's primary, only registered Democrats or Republicans can vote in their respective party's primary. Those registered as Independents are shut out and can only vote for president in the general election in November.
"I'm a registered Independent, so I'm not allowed to vote in the primary, which makes me very sad and I hope we can change that," kindergarten teacher Carrie Lund said.
But Lund says she is less than excited about the candidates who are running for the next U.S. president.
"I still don’t know who I will vote for, and that’s concerning to me," she said. "I don’t feel a strong pull towards anyone that I feel like really stands a chance."
People cast their votes at a polling station inside the Enoch Pratt Free Library's central library branch in Baltimore, April 26, 2016.
Donald Trump currently has 845 delegates and needs 1,237 to win the nomination. In the five primaries 172 delegates are at stake.
In the northeast states voting on Tuesday 384 Democratic delegates are up for grabs. Clinton currently has 1,946 and needs 2,383 to win. if she wins by a large enough margin in these northeast primaries, it may become impossible for Sanders to get the nomination.