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Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 3:27 p.m. to include comments from a voter.

County election officials reported Tuesday that a number of voters have shown up at the wrong polling place to cast ballots in the general election.

Election workers at polling centers at the Silver Spring Civic Building in downtown Silver Spring and the Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center in Burtonsville had to tell voters they were at the wrong polling place, according to officials.

Montgomery County Board of Elections Secretary David Naimon said the errors occurred not because voters were directed to the wrong polls, but because of confusion over redistricting and the ability to cast a ballot at any of the county’s 14 early voting centers during the early voting period from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3.

Because of county redistricting and the addition of two County Council districts, voters may not be assigned to the same precinct where they had voted in the past, according to officials.

Plus, unlike during early voting, voters can only cast ballots at their precinct’s polling place on Election Day, Naimon said.


Long lines formed at the Silver Spring Civic Building and the recreation on early Tuesday afternoon, while election judges urged voters to double-check their precincts. The Silver Spring Civic Building is the polling place for precincts 1305 and 1310.

“People may come here because they remember voting here before, but they need to check and make sure this is still their precinct,” said Naimon, who was at the Silver Spring Civic Building.

If voters show up to the wrong precinct, they can still vote provisionally, but the races on the ballot they are given may be different based on their district, Naimon said. For example, the precinct may not reflect the voter’s County Council district. In that case, a vote for an out-of-district-race would not count. But a vote for a state office such as governor would count, assuming the provisional ballot is accepted, according to Naimon.


Election officials at the Silver Spring Civic Building provided voters with the information for their correct precinct and offered to redirect them there or to allow voters to vote provisionally.

The wait to vote provisionally was as long as an hour on early Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

A voter who identified himself as Phil said he showed up to the Silver Spring Civic Center Tuesday afternoon thinking it was in his precinct since he voted there before, but was assisted by an elections official who told him his polling place is in Takoma Park, closer to his home. Phil chose to go to his polling place in Takoma Park and not vote provisionally in Silver Spring.