Elections officials prepared for heavy turnout
Vote Here signs were ready to be picked up at the Election Board on Monday morning for Tuesday's big vote day. (By Yvette May/Staff Photographer / November 5, 2012)
Early voting and the deadline for absentee ballot requests were both extended last week due to county offices and the early voting polling station being closed due to Hurricane Sandy.
In the 2008 presidential race, turnout in Washington County was nearly 73 percent, according to Board of Elections figures.
“My gut feeling tells me 76 percent,” Director of Elections Kaye Robucci said when asked to predict turnout.
In addition to the presidential race, Tuesday’s election includes U.S. Senate and House races, as well as the mayor and city council in Hagerstown, as well as several ballot questions.
The polls will open at 7 a.m., and close at 8 p.m. in Maryland. Lines could be long, but anyone standing in line at a polling station at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote, Robucci said.
Polls in Pennsylvania are also open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
In West Virginia, the polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Anyone with questions about the status of their registration or the location of their polling place can go to www.elections.state.md.us, or call the Election Board at 240-313-2050, Robucci said.
People should be prepared to give their name, date of birth and residential address when they go to vote, Robucci said. The best time to avoid lines at polling places is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Robucci advised.
In addition to the early voting, which will be tabulated as a separate precinct, there are 54 other precincts in the county, Robucci said. They will be staffed by 524 election workers, she said.
Early voting totalled 7,351, or 8.4 percent of registered voters, Board of Election figures said. Approximately 3,500 people applied for absentee ballots, Robucci said.
Democrats took greater advantage of early voting that Republicans, according to Board of Election figures. Early voting turnout was 3,059, or 9.6 percent of the 31,749 registered Democrats.
The GOP turnout was 8.4 percent, with 3,254 of the 38,549 Republicans voting early, board figures showed.
Reisdents registered with other parties, or who are unaffiliated, participated at a rate of just more than 6 percent, with 1,038 of the 16,996 voters in those categories voting early, board figures said.
Robucci said the following polling places have been moved:
• District 18-1 has moved to Bethel United Methodist Church, 21006 Twin Springs Drive, Smithsburg. The former polling place was the Chewsville Community Center.
• District 8-0 has moved to Rohrersville Road Station 8, 3417 Rohrersville Road. Voters in that district previously voted at the Rohrersville Ruritan Building.
• Districts 24-1 and 24-2 have moved to the WACOHU Grange Hall, 16412 National Pike. Voters in those two districts previously voted at Horst Fencing.
• District 10-2 voters will cast ballots in the gymnasium of South Hagerstown High School. The former polling room was in the school's main lobby.