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How Low Can You Go in MoCo?

As it turns out, voter participation in yesterday's special election in Montgomery County Council District 4 was even lower than the Board of Elections first calculated late last night.

Instead of close to 11 percent, turnout was actually 8.56 percent or 8,896 votes cast of the 104,000 registered voters.

Democrat Don Praisner, the widower of council member Marilyn Praisner, defeated Republican Mark D. Fennel with 66 percent of the vote.

Neil Greenberger, the council spokesman, said today that Praisner's swearing in ceremony would take place sometime between May 23 and June 10, when the council returns from a two-week recess.

By Ann Marimow  |  May 14, 2008; 12:34 PM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow  
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I wonder if Ms. Trachtenberg and Mr. Andrews are going to vote to exceed the charter property tax limit.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | May 14, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse


How can you fault the turnout when your own paper did next to nothing to mention it. Case in point, yesterday's WaPo had a mention in the Metro section on page 2 second story in a box on the inside right. Unless one was reading the entire page front to back you would have missed it.

Also correct me if I am wrong but did WaPo even endorse in the general??? I know you did in the primary.

So when you post something like this please look in the mirror.

I think 8% turnout when neither side had much money, WaPo and Gazette had little coverage, and there was nothing else on the ballot is darn good, esp. when most of the polling places were shared with schools and the polling place was no where near the handicapped parking.

Just disppointed in your posting when you and your paper could have done more to help spread democracy closer to home than Iraq.

Posted by: Kevin Gillogly | May 14, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

8.56 percent turnout? So much for the BOE "get-out-the-vote" conspiracy theory. Time to move will be interesting to see turnout measured in November for "all the chips".

Posted by: Donny | May 14, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I think that most folks really just don't pay attention to the Council, or any other local, state, or even Congressional government business. They only pay attention to Presidential elections and follow what the President does.

In light of that, turnout of around 10% in a midterm special Council election, held on a Tuesday with all schools and gov't offices open, doesn't seem that surprising.

Posted by: Most people only follow Presidential politics | May 14, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Hmph 91.5% of Local residents couldn't remove their faces from the government feeding trough long enough to vote. Hopefully Leggett will enjoy the new rubber stamp the voters just handed him, as the council debates which of our taxes they will raise to fund their uncontrolled spending habits.

Posted by: Sad Day | May 15, 2008 6:40 AM | Report abuse

I hope that the low turnout is not due to actual voter complacency or lack of interest. As far as the belly-aching about tax hikes in MoCo, we all will feel that pain. However, its NOT just MoCo. They are having to raise taxes much higher in NoVa (where they REALLY hate taxes) - Especially in Prince William and Loudon.

In this weak economy, there is no escaping higher taxes. If osmeone know a nearby tax haven, speak up - please.

Posted by: Donny | May 15, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, I agree with your statement above. But, couldn't you and Don Praisner, who I like personally, have helped turnout by having Don participate in the debate on Channel 21?

Don: Your nearby taxhaven is Delaware where my brother just bought a place. Further away is Hawaii, where my cousin just bought a place. They don't tax retirement income. In short, anyplace but Maryland, unless you are fiscally unaware.

Posted by: To Kevin and Donny | May 15, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I think you are generally talking about retirees when you begin talking about Delaware and Hawaii. For those of us who still work and are raising families...we need to stay within REASONABLE commuting distance. In MD, DC, and VA, there are no communities that have low taxes.

You may as well have thrown in Iowa or Utah....Thanks anyway.

Posted by: Donny | May 15, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Donny, how come taxes in Montgomery have to be so much higher? It's got the highest local income tax in the state. It taxes the bejeezus out of everything else, too.

Aside from Valerie Ervin's bus rides from SS to Rockville once a week, no one on that council gives a crap about regular people who are already on tight incomes. Yes, the economy is bad and money isn't going as far... here's a brilliant idea, lets tax them more! It's astounding how out of touch these guys are.

It had been years since I voted for a GOP anything. But I did that yesterday, and I'll do it at the state and local level again in November. In Montgomery County, lawmakers don't care about you if you're not rich and/or not here illegally.

Posted by: Aspen Hiller | May 15, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Its good to have choices...enjoy your right to vote as will I. I'm hopeful America will emerge from these dim economic times. We're still paying much lower taxes than European countries...though somehow, the Euro has begun to dwarf the U.S. dollar.

More menacing...our rapidly growing national debt.

Posted by: Donny | May 15, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

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