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(Update, 5:18 p.m.) -- Afternoon Gaithersburg Voter Turnout Around 40 Percent At Multiple Precincts
Multiple Gaithersburg precincts reported voter turnout near 50 percent of registered voters as of 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Rachel Carson Elementary School had seen 1,459 voters (724 Democrats, 419 Republicans, 307 Unaffiliated) come and go by 3 p.m., marking 37.1 percent of its 3,932 registered voters.
Chief Election Judge Angelo Witten said he felt there was a decent chance the precinct could hit 60 percent by day's end. Rachel Carson crossed the 50 percent threshold in 2008, he said.
A slightly smaller precinct, 34.1 percent of the 3,771 voters registered at Gaithersburg High School had cast ballots. Much of the foot traffic slowed down around 1 o'clock, Chief Election Judge David Nelson said. Nelson said he was expecting a final rush after people finished the work day.
Gaithersburg High School had 1,288 voters at 3 p.m. (739 Democrats, 288 Republicans, 253 Unaffiliated)
The Quince Orchard Library, one of the Gaithersburg area's smallest precincts, reported 726 voters (373 Democrats, 196 Republicans, 151 Unaffiliated) — 38.7 percent of its 1,874 registered — at 3 p.m. despite being without one of its electronic voting machines.
Turnout numbers as of 3 p.m. from other local precincts include:
- Quince Orchard High School
- 1,511 total
- 711 Democrats
- 492 Republicans
- 305 Unaffiliated
- 1,511 total
- Lakelands Park Middle School
- 1,578 total
- 787 Democrats
- 439 Republicans
- 344 Unaffiliated
- 1,578 total
(Update, 10:20 a.m.) -- Morning Rush Features "Long Lines, Enthusiastic Voters" In Gaithersburg
Voters hoping to get in and out of their designated precincts in Gaithersburg were met with long lines and wait times of more than 45 minutes Tuesday morning, but were generally patient and eager to cast their ballot.
More than 190 voters had come and gone at Rachel Carson Elementary School by 7:45 a.m., precinct Chief Election Judge Angelo Witten said, calling it exactly what he expected.
At Gaithersburg High School, the line formed a queue in the main hallway adjacent to the schools cafeteria before turning and extending down another. One voter estimated the wait from the back of the line to the front — without signing in or casting a ballot — was between 35 and 45 minutes.
"The really long lines reflect enthusiastic voter turnout," Gaithersburg High School Chief Election Judge David Nelson said.
Nelson said the operation at Gaithersburg High School is running smoothly after a few early speed bumps. Some of the electronic voting machines didn't start properly, he said, but the issues have since been resolved.
At nearby Quince Orchard Library, one electronic voting booth was inactive at 8:10 a.m., reducing the precinct's capacity by 12 percent, Chief Election Judge Andrés Castro said.
"We're working to move people along. Someone from the Board of Elections is here to fix the machine," Castro said. "Voters have been great. They're upbeat and very patient."
Mark Monaco, of Gaithersburg, arrived at Rachel Carson at 7 a.m. and spent a total of 40 minutes waiting in line and voting.
"People were energized to vote, probably because of the presidential race and some key issues in Maryland — the redistricting and gay rights," Monaco said. "Those are things people think about."
Clyde Horton said the main reason he was out early at Rachel Carson was to re-elect President Barack Obama. Horton said he also voted for Democratic challenger John Delaney for the 6th Congressional District to support the blue ticket.
Horton also voted 'yes' for Question B (Police Bargaining) and Question 7 (Gambling Expansion).
"For me, the economic benefit of the gaming was the thing that caused me to vote for [Question 7] rather than against it," Horton said.
(Original Post, 5 a.m.)
General Election Day has finally arrived and Gaithersburg voters will play a key role in deciding a number of races and issues on the 2012 ballot.
It's widely expected the Obama-Biden ticket will win Maryland once again, this time over Republican challengers Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. In 2008, Obama-Biden won 71.6 percent of the vote over McCain-Palin.
Maryland's 6th Congressional District was won in 2008 by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett with 50.6 percent of the vote and the 8th was won by Chris Van Hollen with 74.4 percent. The 2012 district lines have shifted and Bartlett's 6th District constituents now include Gaithersburg, Germantown, Rockville, North Potomac and Montgomery Village.
Bartlett faces Democratic challenger John Delaney for the realigned seat.
Stay with Patch all day as we update this article with news and information from the polls and live election results after 9 p.m. Be sure to check our Election Guide for information on all races and ballot questions in Montgomery County.