Primary Election Day

IMAGE: Chris Van Hollen and Jamie Raskin at an April 14 campaign event at Takoma Metro. Photo by Bill Brown.

APR 27 — Offical state Board of Elections final primary vote tallies show Chris Van Hollen won the US Senatorial race with 53% of the vote (434,423). Donna F. Edwards came in second with 38.9% (317,052).

Takoma Park resident and state senator Jamie Raskin won the US House of Representative for Maryland District 8 – vacated by Van Hollen – with 33.7% of the vote (38,902). There were several contenders: David Trone – 27.3% (31,529), Kathleen Matthews – 23.8% (27,401), Ana Sol Gutierrez – 5.5% (6,358), William Jawando – 4.7% ( 5,436 ), Kumar P. Barve – 2.3% (2,702), David M. Anderson – 1.1% (1,268), Joel Rubin – 1.0% (1,167),  Dan Bolling – 0.5%( 591).

Jeanette Dixon won the Montgomery County Board of Election At-Large election with 31.4% of the vote (51,713). Phil Kauffman came in second with 27.9% (45,852), followed by Sebastian Johnson – 17.9% (29,353), Gwendolyn Love Kimbrough – 11.8% (19,469), Mike Ibañez – 11.0% (18,043)

John M. Maloney, Karla N. Smith and Harry C. Storm were unopposed in the Montgomery County Circut Judge election.

APR 26 — Today is the Maryland Primary Election. Polls are open until 8 p.m. This will be the decisive vote in most local elections, as the county, districts and much of the state has a Democratic Party majority.

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Happy Raskin campaign worker. Photo by Bill Brown.

UPDATE 11:00 p.m. — The New York Times has identified Takoma Park’s Jamie Raskin as the winner of the US House of Representatives Maryland District 8 race with 33% of the vote. The political blog Maryland Scramble also reports AP Calling the district for Raskin.

Chris Van Hollen, whose seat Raskin is running for has reportedly won the primary race for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the retiring Barbara Mikulski. The New York Times reports Van Hollen with 53% of the vote, his closest contender is Donna Edwards with 39% of the vote with 85% of the vote counted.

Raskin’s vote watch party was at the Silver Spring Civic Center. Hundreds of people were present, many of them local politicians and community activists.

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Takoma Park residents Diana Kohn and Steve Ney with city councilmember Tim Male and Mark Plotkin. Photo by Bill Brown.

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Joyce Seamens, Jacquette Frazier, Raskin campaigner with city councilmember Terry Seamens and Cerwanda Oliver. Photo by Bill Brown.

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City councilmember Peter Kovar. Photo by Bill Brown.

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County councilmember and Takoma Park resident George Leventhal, Whitney Ellenby of Autism Ambassadors, and Jackie Zamora of Zamdance. Photo by Bill Brown.

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Takoma Park’s Bruce Krohmer, president of the Takoma Jazz Fest, takes a solo. Photo by Bill Brown.

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State Delegate Will Smith and Camile Fesche. Photo by Bill Brown.

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Takoma Park mayor Kate Stewart. Photo by Bill Brown.

More photos of the Raskin vote watch at the Silver Spring Civic Center here.

UPDATE 3:15 p.m. — Thick pollen united Allergy sufferers across rival campaign lines at the Precinct 13-68 voting station, The Takoma Park Recreation Center on New Hampshire Avenue.

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Precinct 13-68 polling station, The Takoma park Recreation Center. Photo by Bill Brown.

City councilmember Fred Schultz was there, handing out literature for candidate Jamie Raskin. Raskin, a Takoma Park resident, has served as Maryland State Senator for District 20. He is running for Maryland’s 8th congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. That seat is being vacated by Chris Van Hollen, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the retiring Barbara Mikulski.

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Councilmember Fred Schultz urging votes for Jaimie Raskin. Photo by Bill Brown.

In the early afternoon there was a line of 20 – 30 voters. The wait was around 10 – 15 minutes long. The voting process had four stops, first the registration table where voters were given a small piece of paper with their name, address, party affiliation, etc. Next was the ballot table where voters were handed a ballot in a manilla envelope. Third stop was a voting station – one of a dozen. Ballots were filled out by hand – voters inked in circles by their candidates’ names. Finally, voters carried completed ballots inside their manilla folders to a scanner where they inserted their ballot and handed the folder and their id paper to the poll worker.

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Maya Griffith, daughter of Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart, also working the polls for Jamie Raskin. Photo by Bill Brown.

More photos on the Voice Facebook page.


There is concern that some city voters don’t know they have been moved to new voting precincts and polling places. The 13-67 precinct is gone, merged with precinct 13-68 and assigned to a different polling place. The merged precincts occupy the southern tip and eastern side of the city. The county’s mailed notification informing voters of the change has not been widely noted.

The merged precinct’s polling station for both primary and general election days is Takoma Park Recreation Center, 7315 New Hampshire Ave. The former precinct 13-67 voting place, Grace Methodist Church at 7001 New Hampshire Ave., will not be used.

A few former 13-67 residents will vote at Piney Branch Elementary School. The state’s online polling place locator indicates that homes on the west side of Elm Avenue (even numbers) are in precinct 13-06. The East side of the street (odd numbers) are in 13-68 and will vote at the New Hampshire Avenue Takoma Park Recreation Center.

Takoma Park voting places by precinct:

13-04: Takoma Park Elementary School, 7511 Holly Ave Takoma Park MD 20912,

13-06 at Piney Branch Elementary School, 7510 Maple Ave Takoma Park MD 20912,

13-21: at Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Rd Silver Spring MD 20910,

13- 68: Takoma Park Recreation Center, 7315 New Hampshire Ave. MD 20912

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The county’s new precinct map shows the merged precinct 13-68. 13-67 no longer exists.

A county board of elections staff person did not know the definitive reason for the merger. She said that in general the county prefers to use public buildings as polling stations. One or both precincts may have had low voter registration, or perhaps there were difficulties or complaints about the church location.

With two precincts merged into one there are now four state voting precincts n Takoma Park, each with its own voting place.

 

17 year olds who will be 18 by the general election (November 8, 2016) can vote in the primary election.

Beginning with this primary election, the state will use paper ballots. Finished ballots will be scanned, tabulated and secured in a ballot box. At least one touchscreen ballot device will be available at each polling place for disabled people. It has large-print, high contrast, braille and audio capabilities. Disabled voters also have the option  to use an online ballot system.

View and download a voter guide and sample ballot:

The county Board of Elections can be contacted via their website, www.777vote.org, via phone at  240-777-VOTE (8683), and by email at elections@montgomerycountymd.gov.

The board is also on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at 777vote. The Maryland State Board of Elections number is 800-222-VOTE (8683) or visit their website at elections.maryland.gov.