Voter Turnout Exceeds Primary's Total Turnout
Lines moved quickly at some of Potomac's polling places on Election Day.
Update, 6:30 p.m.: Voting machines have been occupied all day at polling places in Potomac, as most locations have reported voter turnout consistent with midterm election expectations.
By 4:45 p.m., 944 people voted at Cold Spring Elementary School, the polling place for Precinct 04-23. Leonard Raymo, chief election judge for the precinct, said that the polling place has been constantly busy all day and often had a line of voters waiting to cast their ballots.
Earlier in the day two of the precinct's 11 voting machines went out of order for about 30 minutes, but the machines were repaired in time for the evening's rush of voters, Raymo said.
"When the machines went down, it didn't really cause a back up. But we knew if they didn't get fixed, we would have a problem," Raymo said.
More than 1,000 of precinct 04-12 voters turned out to vote at Winston Churchill High School by 5 p.m., said Andrew Kavounis, chief election judge for the precinct. The precinct had 1,126 voters at 5 p.m., but Kavounis said he didn't expect a big 5 p.m. rush from voters.
"We've had a good amount of people, which is nice because we get tired of doing nothing," Kavounis said. "We've had about 30 percent of the precinct vote, and I think we'll be lucky if we have 38 percent by the end of the day."
Lisa Lloyd, at-large candidate for the Board of Education, did some last-minute campaigning outside of Winston Churchill High School earlier today. Lloyd is running against incumbent Shirley Brandman.
"I'm trying to check out the polls and thank everyone for supporting me," said Lloyd, who lives in Potomac. "Even if I don't win, if any new voices can be involved [in the Board of Education], it's a great thing and then the people win."
A constant stream of Precinct 04-32's voters cast their ballots at Ivymount School. At about 5:30 p.m. 486 people voted at the precinct — a number that surprised Joel Rabinovitz, the chief election judge, when compared to the precinct's primary turnout.
The turnout so far has more than tripled the voter turnout from the primary election — even with 37 percent of the precinct voting this Election Day.
"We've been pretty busy all day," Rabinovitz said. "There has been a steady stream of voters, and it's kept coming all day."
12:10 p.m.: Polling places in Potomac are continuing to report a steady stream of voters with some turnout numbers on track to exceed the total number of voters on primary election day.
Potomac United Methodist Church, the polling site for precinct 10-01, had 153 voters from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. — a number Janet Millenson, chief election judge for the precinct, said she is please with.
"In September, voter turnout was a disappointment," Millenson said. "We've had almost as many people vote today as we had all day during the primaries."
Voters are enthusiastic and operations are running smoothly, Millenson added.
Around 11 a.m. 270 people voted at the Potomac Community Center — the voting location for precinct 10-13. Less than 350 people voted at the Potomac Community Center during the primary election, said chief election judge for the precinct, Stephen Cades.
"I'm never pleased with voter turnout but the primary was dead here," Cades said.
The Potomac Community Center's seven voting units are functioning well and serving the stream of voters who visit, Cades added.
A small line extended out the door at Bells Mill Elementary School for precinct 10-12, which saw 373 voters by 10:45 a.m. The precinct has had bursts of activity with many voters followed by slower periods with few voters, said chief judge Mark Kirsch.
"We anticipated more people to come than in the primaries, but maybe we did not think there would be this many so early," Kirsch said.
Precinct 10-04, which covers Cabin John, also voted at Bells Mill Elementary School, but had 204 voters come to the polling place by 10 a.m. During the primary election 260 people voted at the precinct by 5:45 p.m.
"It's be steady all day long and we haven't had anything problems," said Pam Murphy, the chief election judge for the precinct. "Voter turnout is great so far today."
8:43 a.m.: Several polling places in Potomac are reporting a steady flow of voters and no problems for Election Day's morning voters.
At 7 a.m. when the polls opened, a line of people went through the door at Potomac Elementary School — the polling place for precinct 10-02, said Haydee Lasy, the chief election judge for the precinct. Since then, there has not been a line, but a steady stream of voters coming in, Lasy added.
"We have been busy so far," Lasy said. "We have had people at all of our machines all morning, and we are able to move people quickly and process them quickly."
Exact numbers for the morning's voter turnout will not be released until 10 a.m.
Saints Peter & Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church — the polling place for precinct 06-02 — reported a constant flow of voters within the first half hour the polls opened. The polling place had a line of chilly voters at 6:30 a.m., but the line dissipated by 7:20 a.m., said chief election judge for the precinct, Ramona Arnett.
All nine voting units are functioning fine and have been in constant use all morning, Arnett added.
"I think voter turnout is great so far, but we are considering early voting and gauging how that is impacting us now," Arnett said. "Voter turnout is certainly better than the primaries, but it's not as good as a presidential election year. We are going to have to see how the day shapes up."
Many Democrats and Republicans stationed outside of polling locations are noticing a difference in voter turnout since the primaries.
"Turnout has quadrupled since the primaries," said Lora Drezner, Democratic precinct chair for precinct 10-02. "It's been a great turnout, and we hope it continues."
Cathy Kelleher, Republican precinct chair for precinct 06-02, said that turnout has been good this morning, but many voters may not be coming to vote today because of early voting and the cold weather.
"Voter turnout is what we expected with early voting this year," Kelleher said. "Also, it's a little colder, and people who have a choice may not come out until later when it warms up."
Alan Beck, a Potomac resident who voted at Potomac Elementary School said he is pleased with how things are running so far.
"Voting was very easy and well organized," Beck said.