Archive: Potomac Primary

Posted at 9:30 PM ET, 02/12/2008

Maryland Voting Is Extended Until 9:30

Icy weather and congested traffic prompted Maryland to extend voting hours until 9:30 p.m. at polls across the state, state elections officials said.

Polling places, which had been scheduled to close at 8 p.m., will remain open an additional 90 minutes after the Maryland Board of Elections asked an Anne Arundel County judge to issue an emergency order, said Ross Goldstein, deputy administrator of the elections board.

Elections officials petitioned for the extension at 7 p.m. after receiving calls from precincts across the state where voters have been having problems getting to the polls due to the wintry weather, Goldstein said.

"There's a lot of concern that a lot of voters because of the roads wouldn't be able to get to the polls," he said.

As required by federal law, all ballots cast during the extended 90 minutes will be provisional ballots, which are on paper, Goldstein said. Elections officials will not count the provisional ballots until next Tuesday, he said.

Goldstein said federal law requires all ballots cast during the extended period be counted separately from other ballots in case there is a legal challenge to the extension.

"In case that order is challenged, the ballots can be taken out of the count," Goldstein said.

In his ruling, Judge Ronald A. Silkworth wrote that he decided to extend voting hours after "having found that emergency circumstances have interfered and are continuing to interfere with the electoral process, and having found that action by this Court is necessary to provide a remedy that is in the public interest and protects the integrity of the electoral process."

Marjorie Roher, spokeswoman at the Board of Elections in Montgomery County, the state's largest jurisdiction, said several polling places in Maryland have had weather-related problems.

John Flynn, executive director of the Maryland Republican Party, said he has received calls from scores of voters stuck in traffic on clogged roadways and worried they would not make it to the polls before they closed.

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Posted at 9:26 PM ET, 02/12/2008

Very Early Returns

At a precinct in Prince George's County, election officials began posting election results about 9 p.m. -- a half hour before polls closed.

Staff writer Nelson Hernandez reports that election judges at Charles H. Flowers High School in Springdale printed out votes from computers at the polling place and posted them in prepartion for the closing of the poll. By about 9:15 p.m., the judges had posted results from five of the 11 voting machines.

The postings showed Donna Edwards leading Rep. Al Wynn, 229 to 191, in the hotly contested primary for the 4th congressional district.

In 2006, Wynn, won the same precinct 511 to 417, according to the Prince George's Board of Elections web site.

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Posted at 6:29 PM ET, 02/12/2008

'Scary' Weather Won't Keep Md. Retirees From Voting

Elections officials fear that a nasty downpour of snow, sleet and freezing rain across the region may hurt turnout in today's Potomac Primary. But voters at some polling places in Maryland aren't letting the wintry mix keep them from voting in this presidential election.

As staff writer Dan DeVise reports from Leisure World in Silver Spring, turnout was heavy at the retirement community -- and mostly Democratic.

For Joan Reynolds, 67, the drive to the polling place at Leisure World was "scary."

"But I was determined to vote," Reynolds said.

The retirees were a cautious group. Some voters said they were uncomfortable voting for someone of Sen. Hillary Clinton's gender, while others said Sen. Barack Obama seemed to have come out of nowhere.

Thomas Jenkins, 81, said he voted for Clinton mostly out of allegiance to her husband, the former president.

"Let's put it this way," he said. "Bill Clinton was one of the smartest people we ever had in the presidency. And if Hillary gets in there, he's going to have a lot to say. I don't know how this Obama is going to do."

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Posted at 5:02 PM ET, 02/12/2008

Getting out the Vote

With just three hours before polls close in Maryland, last-ditch efforts are underway to mobilize voters.

In Montgomery County, home to a large concentration of Democrats, advocacy groups tried to boost turnout among Latino and African American voters.

Staff writer Steve Hendrix reports that Casa de Maryland and the Partnership for Renewal in Southern and Eastern Maryland mounted a get-out-the-vote effort focused on precincts in the 4th congressional district, where eight-term incumbent Rep. Al Wynn (D) faces a fierce challenge from Donna Edwards.

The advocacy groups ran a phone bank from Casa headquarters, provided free taxi rides to the polls and deployed groups to knock on doors in heavily immigrant neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, in Baltimore, prominent surrogates for Sen. Barack Obama's campaign were scheduled to hold a 5 p.m. news conference to discuss voter turnout, with hopes of making the evening newscasts before polls close.
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) -- all Obama supporters -- were scheduled to speak at the news conference.

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Posted at 4:06 PM ET, 02/12/2008

Supporters Plan to Party

If you're looking to party with your favorite Democratic presidential candidate tonight, you're out of luck. Sen. Hillary Clinton is expected to attend a rally tonight in El Paso, Texas, while her opponent Sen. Barack Obama will hold a rally at the University of Wisconsin.

But their campaigns are planning parties for supporters and surrogates across Maryland.

The Clinton campaign will hold two events: one in Bethesda and another in Baltimore. Both events begin at 8:30 p.m. Baltimore area supporters are meeting at the Iguana Cantina, 124 Market Dr. in Baltimore. Washington area supporters are gathering at The Barking Dog, 4723 Elm St. in Bethesda.

UPDATE: The Obama campaign is hosting three election night parties in Montgomery County, Prince George's County and Baltimore Supporters will gather at 8 p.m. at McGinty's Public House at 911 Ellsworth Dr. in Silver Spring. Prince George's supporters will gather at 8 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel at 8500 Annapolis Rd., New Carrollton. Baltimore supporters are meeting at 8:30 p.m. at The Rusty Scupper at 402 Key Highway, Baltimore.

There's no word yet on whether the Republican candidates, Sen. John McCain and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, will hold any events tonight in Maryland.

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Md. Campaigns Worry Snow, Sleet Could Dampen Turnout

A wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain, coupled with bitter cold temperatures, threatens to dampen turnout late today as thousands of Marylanders trek to their precincts to vote before polls close at 8 p.m. The National Weather Service...

By Philip Rucker | February 12, 2008; 03:03 PM ET | Comments (0)

Potomac Primary Round-Up

In the days leading up to tomorrow's primary, washingtonpost.com and The Washington Post are combing the web for news and opinion outside the region to supplement our coverage with additional viewpoints. We're posting what we find here and to our...

By Liz Heron | February 11, 2008; 05:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

 

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