Thursday’s early voting turnout in Montgomery County was nearly double the turnout reported for the first day of early voting four years ago.
The state reported that 4,290 residents showed up for the initial day of early voting, compared to 2,480 during the 2014 primary. One factor in the roughly 73 percent increase could be the addition of two new early polling sites, one in Sandy Spring and one in Potomac, according to Margie Roher, a spokeswoman for the county’s elections board.
In fact, Potomac was the second-busiest of the county’s 11 early voting locations on Thursday, drawing 516 residents, she said. The Silver Spring Civic Building site led the pack with a first-day turnout of 650, she said.
However, the hotly contested race for county executive and interest in the gubernatorial competition might also explain the higher numbers, she said.
“In 2014, there were only three [Democratic] candidates for county executive, and that was when we had an incumbent county executive who was running. Now, we’ve got open seats on the [County] Council and we’ve got an open seat at the executive level,” Roher said.
Statewide, 31,024 voters showed up for the first day of early voting this week, compared to 20,382 in 2014.
Registered voters in Montgomery County can cast ballots at any of the 11 early voting sites, even if it’s outside their home district, through June 21. The county’s Board of Elections website includes a wait-time estimate for the early voting centers, which are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.