2021 | Government

County’s Board of Elections approves two new early-voting sites

White Oak, North Potomac locations await state vote; third new site possible

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In July, elected officials and community advocates met to rally in support of an additional early-voting site at White Oak Community Recreation Center. On Monday, the county's Board of Elections approved that site. The state's Board of Elections must also approve it.

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The county’s Board of Elections approved two new early-voting sites in White Oak and North Potomac at a meeting Monday, with the option for a third additional site if the County Council and County Executive Marc Elrich can reach an agreement with the board.

Margaret Jurgensen, the county’s election director, said in an interview that the Board of Elections approved a site at White Oak Community Recreation Center and another at Nancy H. Dacek North Potomac Community Recreation Center. That brings the total number of early-voting sites to 13 countywide, contingent upon approval by the state Board of Elections.

The board also approved allowing the County Council and Elrich to choose whether to approve a 14th early-voting site at Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center in Aspen Hill. Jurgensen said the County Council and Elrich must both agree before it can be added as a site. The election board agreed Monday that the county government should pay to operate that site.

The state Board of Elections would also need to approve the Bauer Drive site.

Board member David Naimon wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat Monday that both votes were unanimous. 

“I’d like to thank Board President Nahid Khozeimeh and all of my Board colleagues and our staff for a thorough discussion over several months of the issues surrounding early voting locations, and a bipartisan decision that should be a good result for everyone eligible to vote across Montgomery County,” Naimon wrote.

Advocates and elected officials had long called for an additional site in White Oak, and did so again at a public hearing on Saturday. Previously, elected officials and Board of Election members had disagreed on whether to allow the site, and voted against it in 2019.

According to the state board of elections, local boards must submit a plan for proposed early-voting sites by late November for the 2022 primary elections. The state board must decide by Dec. 28 whether to approve those proposals. 

The primary election is scheduled for June 28, 2022. Early voting in 2022 runs from June 16 to 23.

The 2022 general election is scheduled for Nov. 8, with early voting running from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3. 

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com