Arriving at Hagerstown Community College in northern Maryland, signs of protest at Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinCongress passes bill to begin scenic byways renaissance GOP lawmaker: 'Dangerous' abuse of Interpol by Russia, China, Venezuela Senators pressure Trump to help end humanitarian crisis in Kashmir MORE's (D) healthcare town hall pop up as soon as one exits Interstate 40--"No Socialized Medicine," "No To ObamaCare." At the entrance to the college itself, one man even stood holding a small, handwritten cardboard sign that read "Death To Obama."

Cardin's audience began lining up at 9:30 a.m. for the 1 p.m. meeting. The college theater has a capacity of 450 and is filled; organizers estimate many more than that are lined up outside.

In a nine-minute Q & A with reporters before the forum, Cardin said he believed the forums are a "valuable" part of the healthcare debate and are intended to spread information and share opinions on all sides of the debate--but they are not intended for protests or disruptions.

"We hope that those in attendance will be respectful," Cardin said. "People have strong views on healthcare, and they want information, and town halls can be useful for information...There are legitimate concerns out there, and this is an opportunity for the people of Maryland to get answers."

This is Cardin's third town hall meeting, following forums in Laurel and Towson that have been marked by occasional disruptions from protesters.

Cardin began speaking at 1:15 p.m., following introductions from college officials.

--J. Taylor Rushing