This article will be updated as the 2012 General Election progresses.
(Updated 8:15 p.m.) Montgomery County polls are now closed, and while long lines polls threaten to delay tonight's results, the crowd stream appeared steady at the 14 Germantown poll sites Patch visited Tuesday night.
Waters Landing Elementary School seemed to fetch the largest after-work crowd. Just after 6:30 p.m., the line of voters snaked through the school's hallway and lobby, eventually making its way into the gymnasium.
Otherwise, there was a moderate bump after 5 p.m.
"Today, I think is pretty much the basic group," said Nancy Dacek, secretary of the Montgomery County Board of Elections. "I don't think there is overwhelming numbers or anything else."
Dacek, who had visited more than a dozen poll sites throughout the county on Election Day, said the story for Germantown lies in the early voting numbers.
More than a fifth of the county's registered voters voted early or by absentee ballot, Dacek said. But Germantown comprised one of the largest groups of early voters in the state.
According to board of election figures, a total of 78,000 ballots were cast early in Montgomery County. Germantown alone accounted for 4,500 on the last day of early voting, Dacek said.
She attributed Germantown's large numbers to the location of early voting sites, most of which were in the the eastern part of the county. Dacek said Upcounty residents had one option — Germantown Recreation Center — though more than half the county's population lives north of Gaithersburg.
The threat of Superstorm Sandy probably played a role, as well.
While official results aren't expected until after 9 p.m., here are unofficial numbers for the number of ballots at polling centers in Germantown as of 3 p.m., the most recent data available.
School Ballots Cast James E. Daly Jr. Elementary School 902 Clopper Mill Elementary School 1,391 Dr. Sally K. Ride Elementary School 748 Fox Chapel Elementary School 770 Great Seneca Creek Elementary School 1,009 Kingsview Middle School 1,252 Lake Seneca Elementary School 1,332 Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School 1,128 Neelsville Middle School 883 Northwest High School 1,258 Roberto Clemente Middle School 912 Seneca Valley High School 1,166 Spark M. Matsunaga Elementary School 1,044 Waters Landing Elementary School 1,058 Total 14,853
(Updated 2:45 p.m.) If Tocque Peyton had one wish for Election Day, it would be to have a passenger van jam-packed full of voters.
Peyton is a Housing Opportunities Commission employee who volunteered to transport residents from Seneca Ridge, a public housing community in Germantown, to the polling center at Neelsville Middle School.
But only two people were on board for his first trip to the polls. He said a co-worker was also driving people to polling centers and remained optimistic he’d have more passengers as the day progressed.
“I think more people will come on board,” Peyton said.
Aulin Moye, 23, of Germantown, was one of the two passengers on the HOC van. He said voting was something he didn’t want to miss.
“It's really important to vote,” Aulin said. “Politics isn't really my thing, but we've got a president who wants to stay in office. I got to vote and support him.”
By lunchtime, crowds had eased at polling sites throughout Germantown.
As of 10 a.m., 447 votes had been cast at Neelsville Middle School, according to unofficial results posted on site.
Among the late afternoon arrivals was pro-Obama supporter Amit Singh, who referred to Republican contender Mitt Romney as a “third-string politician.”
Singh, a 28-year-old medical student, said his biggest concern if Romney were to win the election was what would happen to the economy, citing Romney’s pledges during the debates to increase military spending.
“That’s not the type of leadership we need,” Singh said.
Over at Northwest High School, the 10 a.m. vote count had reached 608. The Sareen family of Boyds decided to vote in the late afternoon—as a group.
“We're already in the same house, why not?” said Madhu Sareen, 61.
Sareen said her vote rested on how candidates approached global issues. Meanwhile, her daughters Reema Sareen 34, and Jharna Sareen-Gulati, 36, were thinking local — gambling and same-sex marriage.
Sareen-Gulati said she opposed gambling. Both were supporters of same-sex marriage.
All backed Obama.
“He keeps the country in line,” said dad Vijay Sareen, 66.
(Updated 10:18 a.m.) The polls weren’t going to open for another 20 minutes and there was already a “line out the door” at the polling center at Northwest High School, election judge Gary Mininsohn recounted.
Once the polls opened, it would be another 15- to 20-minute wait in line, Mininsohn said, as voters got off to an earlier start in order to cast their ballots before heading off to work.
Nearly a half-million voters are expected to vote at fewer than 250 polling sites in Montgomery County between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. — most coming before and after work, Board of Elections spokeswoman Marjorie Rohrer told Patch.
At Northwest, the morning rush subsided by 8:30 a.m. The lines were nonexistent, and by 8:40 a.m., more than 350 people had cast their votes, according to Mininsohn.
Kamal Elharam, 39, was among the early crowd. He came out of the voting booth with his wife and their 7-month-old son. He said his biggest concerns were two issues he supports, the Dream Act, which would grant in-state tuition to students who are children of undocumented residents if they meet certain requirments, and same-sex marriage.
“I think folks should be able to do what they need to do and the states and federal government shouldn't be involved in that,” Elharam said of same-sex marriage. “It's their right. They can choose what they'd like.”
Cheryl Pearce, 42, mother of two and part-time systems analyst said her main concern was who would be elected president.
“I wasn’t impressed with the last four years as I hoped I would be,” said Pearce. “I feel like Romney at least has a plan.”
Nannette Corely, 49, of Boyds, was also concerned with who would win the presidency.
“President Barack Obama, at least he has a plan,” Corley said.
Corley is the president of the Montgomery County Area Local No. 3630, a union that represents postal workers. She said she was concerned about ballot Question B, which would impact the police union’s bargaining power, Patch has reported.
As for other ballot questions, Corley said she opposed same-sex marriage. “The Bible speaks against it,” Corley said.
She said she supports Question 7, which would expand gambling in Maryland.
“Let them keep the money in Maryland instead of taking it to West Virginia,” Corely said.
(Original) Today, Germantown voters will help decide the next local, state and national leaders.
Patch will be following this story, posting updates throughout the day. Stay connected with our coverage by following #PatchElections on Twitter. Follow regional election coverage on Patch's Maryland Facebook page.
Here’s some background: In a traditionally blue Maryland, the Obama-Biden ticket is expected to win over Republican challengers Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. In the last presidential election, Obama-Biden earned 72 percent of Montgomery County’s votes (314,444), state election board results show, while the Republican McCain-Palin ticket drew 27 percent (118,608) of the vote.
Local races to watch: Locally, there’s heated race for the 6th Congressional District, a perch held by long-time Frederick County, MD Republican Roscoe G. Bartlett. Bartlett faces challenger John Delaney this year for the redrawn district, which now includes Germantown.
For U.S. Senate, incumbent Democrat Ben Cardin faces Republican opponent Daniel Bongino of Severna Park, MD, and independent candidate Rob Sobhani of Potomac.
Where to Find Information
- Germantown polling places
- Election Guide: Maryland and Montgomery County
- Board of Elections of Montgomery County
- Maryland State Board of Elections
Keep checking back as we post updates. You can also get breaking news alerts and bulletins by signing up for the Germantown Patch newsletter.Race Democratic Candidate Results Republican Candidate Results Independent Candidate Results U.S. President Obama-Biden Romney-Ryan U.S. Congress District 6 John Delaney Roscoe Bartlett U.S. Senate Ben Cardin Dan Bongino Rob Sobhani