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Voter Turnout Low, Candidate Hopes Remain High

Increased turnout expected around lunch time.

With polls open for about three hours, voter turnout at Rachel Carson Elementary School was light, according to the chief election judge.

Angelo Witten, who has served as an election judge in the past, said the turnout has been comparable to what he saw during the 2010 gubernatorial election.

But Brandon Rippeon, a Republican candidate running for Congress, said there could be a silver lining in the low turnout.

"Low turnout definitely doesn't help the incumbent," he said outside Rachel Carson ES this morning.

He was enthusiastic about his chances, pointing to what he felt was a strong early voting response.

But in a precinct with nearly 4,000 registered voters, at 10am only 120 had cast ballots.

Pete Khalaf said the presidential primary was what compelled him to the polls today.

"I don't like what's going on, financially," he said. He voted for Mitt Romney because "he's got the best shot at taking down the current President."

Despite the heavy media coverage of the Republican presidential primary and the four remaining candidates, only one third of voters this morning were Republicans.

According to Witten, there were 74 Democratic voters, 40 Republicans and six "other" votes.

He expected a surge around lunchtime.

Beth Donovan April 03, 2012 at 06:38 PM
The low voter turnout is troubling, as the School Board races are on the ballot and they are really important! I have three kids in MCPS and want to make sure they continue to get a decent education. When I was walking into the poll, the teachers were in front with a list of the candidates, so I knew who to support. Regardless of who one votes for, this election shouldn't be decided by a few people!
Kathleen McManus April 03, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Maybe more people would turn out to vote if they had a better choice of candidates. I don't have children in the public schools (oldest daughter just graduated), but know we need people in office who care about more than just getting elected. I voted for Jean Ellinport cuz she seemed like someone new who will look at things from a different perspective, but some of the others have been around for a while. We need more people to get involved and run for office, but today we just need people to come out and vote!

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