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Feb. 13, 2008

Obama, McCain win big in first "Potomac Primary"

by Miriam Ragen, Online National News Editor and Food Editor
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate John McCain swept the Potomac Primary, winning by large margins in the Feb. 12 Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. elections, according to The New York Times. Voters also selected candidates in Congressional, circuit court, school board and convention delegate races.
Local citizens cast their votes for the Democratic presidential nominee on electronic voting machines. Julia Seiger
Local citizens cast their votes for the Democratic presidential nominee on electronic voting machines.


Obama won 60 percent of the Democratic vote in Maryland, 64 percent in Virginia and 75 percent in Washington, D.C., and McCain received 55 percent of the Republican vote in Maryland, 50 percent in Virginia and 68 percent in Washington, D.C., The New York Times reports. In Montgomery County, 153,507 people cast a vote in the Presidential election, according to the unofficial results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections. Official results will not be available for about a month, when the election is certified, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

One of the more competitive races in this election was in Maryland's Fourth Congressional District, which encompasses part of Montgomery and Prince George's Counties. Democrat Donna Edwards challenged incumbent Representative Al Wynn, in his eighth term, after losing a close election to Wynn in 2006. Edwards won the election with 67.1 percent of the vote and Republican Peter James won his party's nomination for this seat with 38.7 percent of the vote, according to the Maryland Board of Elections.

Maryland's Sixth and Eighth Congressional Districts, both in Montgomery County, had less close races. Jennifer Dougherty won with 41.2 percent of the vote and Representative Chris Van Hollen with 88.2 percent of the vote in the Sixth and Eighth Districts' Democratic primaries respectively, according to the Maryland Board of Elections. Republican incumbent Roscoe Bartlett won the nomination in the Sixth District with 77.8 percent of the vote and Republican Steve Hudson moves on to the general election in the Eighth District with 37.6 percent of the vote, according to the Maryland Board of Elections.

These receipts prove that the voting machines had no previous information on them prior to when voters came in. Julia Seiger
These receipts prove that the voting machines had no previous information on them prior to when voters came in.
The only Montgomery County election on the ballot was for the At-Large seat on the Board of Education. Because it is a nonpartisan race, the top two candidates advance to the November general election. Phil Kauffman received the most support with 33.6 percent of the vote, followed by Tommy Le who got 24.8 percent of the vote, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections. Alies Muskin, Carey Apple and Rob Seubert took the last three places respectively.

Inclement weather affected voter turnout in the election, according to Jon Elkind, the Chief Democratic Election Judge at Sligo Creek Elementary School. "We had slightly higher participation in the morning and clearly when the weather started to deteriorate, it stopped," said Elkind. "If the weather had turned, we would have had a higher turnout than normal."

With a wintry mix present in much of the area, the Maryland State Board of Elections decided to keep polls open for an extra hour and a half, until 9:30 p.m. According to Elkind, the extension was the right thing to do because it allowed voters more flexibility, yet his precinct saw only three voters in the extra time. Elkind was unsure why more voters did not take advantage of the time extension. "I don't know if either people did not learn in time that voting had been extended or were so frustrated with the weather and traffic that they said 'to heck with it'," he said.



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  • alumnae3 on February 22, 2008 at 5:43 PM
    YES! Finally a change!
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