Slow Morning at the Polls

Maryland primary election seemed off to a slow start Tuesday morning.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. across Maryland, but the usual morning rush never materialized Tuesday at , a Germantown polling center that had fetched large turnouts during prior election cycles.

“I’m just not sure how many people are gong to come out and vote,” said Nancy Dacek, secretary of Montgomery County Board of Elections. “It's really so dependent on who's on the top of the ticket.”

Tuesday was the primary election for Maryland. Voters will choose who will appear on the ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, and vote local school board members.

But because only a fifth of registered voters in Montgomery County are looking at that top-of-the-ticket spot — which Republican candidate they’d like to see run for president — it could wind up being a slow, low-turnout primary.

“I support Romney,” said Republican Shawn Dancik, 38, of Germantown.Dancik said he voted for Mitt Romney because he was the “lesser of all evils.”

“I'm a fiscal conservative,” Dancik said. “I don't see any candidates strongly behind that position.”

As of 8 a.m., the steady stream of voters at Martin Luther King Middle School couldn’t even be described as a steady stream. It was more like intermittent drips — a couple of voters bopping in at time, in order to cast votes before work.

Karen Kneller, 57, a food service worker for Montgomery County Public Schools was among the voters at MLK.

“I voted democrat all the way,” Kneller said.

Kneller was joined by Lori Carder, 46, of Germantown, who said “schools and traffic” were the concerns she brought to the ballot box. Carder said she voted for Md. Sen. Rob Garagiola (Dist. 15), a democrat from Germantown, for U.S. Congress.

“I like him,” Carder said. “He seems very honest.”

Valencia McKenzie, 56, of Germantown, said she cast her vote for Garagiola's biggest Democratic rival, Potomac businessman John Delaney. McKenzie said jobs, the economy and access to health care were major issues for her.

“I recently lost a friend of mine,” McKenzie said. “I strongly believe that if she had health care she’d still be here today.”

The polls will remain open until 8 p.m. Check back with Patch for continuing coverage.

Beth Donovan April 03, 2012 at 06:40 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 07:14 PM
Maybe more people would turn out to vote if they had a better choice of candidates. Like Carder, my top issues are schools and traffic. The roads are always clogged because of over development. 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 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!
Robin Ficker April 03, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Thank you for your vote. I'll work hard for hard working voters. Robin Ficker, Republican for Congress (Md.6th)!


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