This article will be updated as the 2012 General Election progresses.
Updated, 5 p.m.: Lines have calmed down at polling places around Potomac, as the morning rush recedes and poll workers gear up for the after-work crowd.
Just under 1,200 residents showed up to vote at Bells Mill by 3 p.m. Tuesday, but the swollen line of voters that wrapped around halls at 8 a.m. was gone by mid-afternoon.
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"It's cleared up for the past hour-and-a-half," according to Chief Election Judge Stacey Sauter. "I expect it'll pick back up when work lets out."
Thousands of Potomac residents have already voted across the area's precincts, causing a few poll workers to project today's turnout to be higher than in 2010, and perhaps even the last presidential election in 2008.
"It's been busy all day; lines out the door. I think it's higher but it's hard to tell," said David Levin, an election judge at the Winston Churchill High School precinct. "There's also a complicated ballot and it's taking people longer to vote."
The Churchill precinct had a turnout of 1,410 voters by 3 p.m., while the neighboring Herbert Hoover Middle School precinct -- located just down the hall -- recorded a turnout of 1,016 voters.
Seven Locks Elementary recorded 1,008 voters at 3 p.m., and Cabin John had 771.
"Turnouts were heavy and steady until mid-afternoon," said Mark Kirsch, an elections judge back at Bells Mill. "My sense is that it's more than 2010 -- a gubernatorial race -- and it seems heavier than in 2008."
DMV workers will soon be headed home and to the polls for the final three hours of voting. To check your commute and travel time before heading out to vote click here .
Updated, Nov. 6, 12 p.m.:
Potomac voters waited in lines for up to an hour this morning as the 2012 Election Day brought residents out to decide tough questions.
As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, more than 1,500 residents turned out to vote at three of Potomac’s 14 precincts. As lines stretched out of doors and around corners, party precinct chairs told stories of hour-long waits at many of Potomac’s polling places.
“They were here a half-hour before the polls opened,” said Geoffrey Wolfe, Democratic precinct chair at the Seven Locks Elementary School poll. “There’s a great interest and enthusiasm among voters.”
At Bells Mill Elementary School voter lines wrapped around the hall from the school entrance to the cafeteria, according to Chief Election Judge Stacey Sauter. Democratic Precinct Chair Merry Eisner said that at one point, the line got so long that it triggered an alarm in a portion of the school.
“I think the line went into a part of the building that was supposed to be closed to the public,” Eisner said.
At 10 a.m., 500 voters had polled at the Bells Mill precinct, including 271 Democrats, 102 Republicans and 124 unaffiliated voters. Winston Churchill High School's two precincts saw similar lines and more than 1,000 morning voters.
“This is probably an indication of energy and excitement,” Sauter said. “People are also turning out for the ballot questions.”
Hot topics for Potomac voters included the referendum on same-sex marriage in Maryland, the state’s Congressional redistricting, and the presidency.
Bradford Koles, a Republican from Bethesda, showed up at the Seven Locks precinct to vote against the redistricting.
“I passionately voted against it,” Koles said. “It’s a travesty. I’m not even sure which [congressional district] I’m in. They look like amoebas.”
With the Delaney-Bartlett race on his ballot Koles found out he is registered in the new 6th Congressional District. He said he voted Republican.
Question 6 – the question to affirm or reverse same-sex marriage legislation – was a big issue for many of the voters at Bells Mill.
Bruce Clark of Potomac came out early Tuesday to support same sex marriage, to vote against the redistricting and to reelect President Obama.
Richard Sussman also showed up the Bells Mill precinct in support of same-sex marriage and President Obama.
Original story: Voters in Potomac are heading to the polls today to help decide the next local, state and national leaders.
The Obama-Biden ticket is expected to carry Maryland, a traditionally blue state, over Republican challengers Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
In 2008. Maryland cast 71.6 percent of its votes for the Democratic duo, over then challengers Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin.
That year Montgomery County voted overwhelmingly Democratic, nearly 3 to 1, over Republican. Montgomery County Board of Election figures show that team Obama-Biden raked in 314,444 votes to McCain-Palin’s 118,608 total. Congressional Districts 6 and 8 in Montgomery County had a voter turn out around 80 percent during the 2008 general election, during which, voting District 10 in Potomac cast nearly 11,500 votes for Obama and 6,100 for McCain.
The 6th and 8th Congressional Districts, straddled by Potomac, have some hot races as well.
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Maryland's 6th Congressional District was won in 2008 by Republican Roscoe Bartlett with 50.6 percent of the vote. Bartlett faces Democratic challenger John Delaney this year for the newly realigned seat. The 8th Congressional District in 2008 was won by Chris Van Hollen with 74.4 percent. This year, he faces Ken Timmerman for the seat.
For U.S. Senate, incumbent Democrat Ben Cardin faces Republican opponent Daniel Bongino of Severna Park, as well as independent candidate Rob Sobhani of Potomac.
Keep checking back as we update this article with news and information from the polls and election results.
UPDATED 11 p.m.Race Democratic Candidate
Results Republican Candidate Results Independent Candidate Results U.S. President Obama-Biden Romney-Ryan U.S. Congress District 6 John Delaney 57% Roscoe Bartlett 39.6% U.S. Congress District 8 Chris Van Hollen 58.6% Ken Timmerman 37.5% U.S. Senate Ben Cardin 53.4% Dan Bongino 28.4% Rob Sobhani 17%