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Morning Primary Voter Turnout Low in Wheaton

Judges at three polling centers say voters have slowly trickled in.

 

Election judges at polling centers in Wheaton reported low turnout this morning for primary elections in a year when only the county’s Republican minority faces a choice for the GOP presidential ticket.

Arthur Glover, who has acted as an election judge since 2004, said that the morning turnout at Holiday Senior Center on Ferrara Drive had been fairly light, with no one waiting in line outside when the polls opened at 7 a.m. “The general election though, that’s something different,” he said.

“We had a steady trickle this morning, but it’s going to be a low turnout,” said Guinnevere Roberts, an election judge at . “There’s nothing on the ballot except for the Republican presidential candidates and the Board of Education.” Roberts, 41, has worked as an election judge ever since she moved to Maryland about 10 years ago.

Michael Thomas-Kaonohi, working as an election judge for Precinct 13-63 at this morning, blamed the low turnout on bad timing--during the Montgomery County Public Schools spring break. “They thought that this would be an ideal time to vote,” he said. “It kind of went the reverse.”

Some voters said that they were casting their ballot more from a sense of duty than from a belief that their vote will make a difference.

“It’s not one of those elections that I feel there is a great need to do it,” Dorothy Hunt, 68, said. Hunt, a registered Democrat and a “great fan” of Chris Van Hollen, cast her vote at Kennedy High School. With no children in school, she said that she relied on recommendations from friends when choosing candidates for the Board of Education.

But Derek Parker, a 62-year-old substitute teacher, came to the polls knowing that there were some people he wanted to see in office and others he didn’t. “The only way I’m going to make that happen is as a voter,” he said.

Ben Schumin April 03, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Not too surprising, considering how "blue" Montgomery County is, and with no Democrats in the primary.
Henriot St. Gerard April 03, 2012 at 03:59 PM
My polling place was empty as well. One can also add early voting to the list of reasons why there is low voter turnout today I would assume.
Beth Donovan April 03, 2012 at 06:22 PM
The low voter turnout is troubling, as the School Board races are on the ballot and they are really important! I have three kids in MCPS and want to make sure they continue to get a decent education. When I was walking into the poll, the teachers were in front with a list of the candidates, so I knew who to support. Regardless of who one votes for, this election shouldn't be decided by a few people!
Kathleen McManus April 03, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Maybe more people would turn out to vote if they had a better choice of candidates. Like Hunt, I don't have children in the public schools (oldest daughter just graduated), but know we need people in office who care about more than just getting elected. I agree with the substitute teacher who said they wanted to help make a change. I voted for Jean Ellinport cuz she seemed like someone new who will look at things from a different perspective, but some of the others have been around for a while. We need more people to get involved and run for office, but today we just need people to come out and vote!

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