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Historic Race Draws Young Voters to MoCo Polls

As the polling place at Rocky Hill Middle School in Clarksburg opened this morning, a line of voters stretched out of the school, through the parking lot and all the way to a stop sign on the nearby street. But by early afternoon, voters cast their ballots in mere minutes.

It took Peter Samuel 45 minutes to drive to the polling place from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he is studying financial economics. The 20-year-old missed the deadline to file for an absentee ballot and didn't want to miss his first opportunity to vote in a presidential race.

Although both of his parents are life-long Democrats, Samuel thinks the country needs a more centralized government and voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Luckily, his political science professor canceled class today, so Samuel had time to make the trek home to vote.

"Even knowing that Maryland is very Democratic and my vote probably won't change things, I still felt like I had to go out there and vote," he said. "You can't complain when everything's done if you didn't vote."

Michael Castro, 19, made a similar journey from the University of Maryland in College Park to vote for McCain, who he thinks will help balance out the Democratic Congress. This is Castro's first time voting in a presidential election.

"I've seen the voting places all my life. I wanted to be part of that line," he said. "I'm not sure how much my vote is going to count but at least I put it in."

Although they are not old enough to vote, sisters Brittney and Morgan Johnson of Damascus volunteered to hand out sample ballots at the middle school with the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.

The two arrived at the school at 7 a.m. and planned to stay until polls closed at 7 p.m.

"This is a really historic event," said Brittney, 17. "My great-grandma drove herself to the polls. Our whole family is voting for Obama. We wanted to do something, too."

-- Jenna Johnson

By Philip Rucker  |  November 4, 2008; 4:51 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Elections  
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