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UPDATE: Rockville Goes to the Polls

Turnout 'good' at the swim center, light elsewhere in the early hours, candidates say.

Update, 5:20 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8:

As the Rockville election moved into the final three hours of polling and election officials prepared for the evening rush, things appeared to be running smoothly at the city’s 10 polling places, city spokeswoman JoAnn Grbach said.

“We haven’t received any reports of any problems,” Grbach said.

Candidates who staked out the polls at the on Tuesday were experimenting with a relatively new polling place for District 2 voters.

The District 2 polls were at just two elections ago, in 2007. While West End voters have a bit further to travel in order to vote now, candidates are betting that District 2 will again have the most ballots cast.

In 2009, District 2 counted 5,583 registered voters, who cast 1,198 ballots, for a turnout of 21.46 percent of all registered voters.

By comparison, in the same election, the 2,410 voters in District 9 cast 603 ballots at the , for a turnout of slightly more than 25 percent.

The city has 62,000 residents and 37,000 voters in 10 districts.

Polls remain open until 8 p.m.

Rockville Patch will be hosting a live chat with election results and reactions beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Update, 4:55 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8:

Council candidates said Tuesday that they often feel like they’re fighting for the fourth vote.

Voters can choose up to four of the eight candidates for Rockville City Council. (Or they can write in another choice.) Some can easily pick three, but are undecided on the fourth, candidates said.

One of those fourth votes might’ve been Bernard or Joan Adundo.

“We came to fulfill our civic duty,” said Bernard Adundo, adding that education is a big issue for him.

The Adundos, who live on College Parkway, said they studied the voter’s guide in the city’s “Rockville Reports.”

As a parent and grandparent, Joan Adundo said “security and especially the college” are important to her.

As a neighbor of Montgomery College, where she has attended classes, Joan Adundo said she wanted candidates “to make sure these young people are secure and people living around the area are secure, especially in the evening.”

The Adundos moved to the United States 11 years ago from Kenya. Elections are different in their native country, Bernard Adundo said. In Kenya, electioneering is required to stop the night before the election, he said.

“It’s interesting to see [candidates] very close to the polling booth,” he said, motioning toward the line on the sidewalk outside the polling place that candidates are not allowed to cross.

Update, 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8:

Former City Councilman Bob Wright held out a hand, offering Councilman Piotr Gajewski’s campaign literature to a man outside the polls at the Rockville Swim and Fitness Center on Tuesday morning.

The voter, who apparently had already made up his mind, rebuffed the offer.

“Save the trees,” the man said.

“Save the trees?!” Wright said, smiling. “It’s too late. They’re already gone!”

Update, 4:20 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8:

When voters refuse campaign literature, candidates understand.

“There’s no evidence this does anything,” City Council candidate Tom Moore said Tuesday morning between hustling handbills at the Rockville Swim and Fitness Center.

Still, electioneering at the polls is a matter of going where your customers are.

“You spend your whole campaign trying to talk to voters,” Moore said. “This is the one place to talk to voters.”

After, reportedly losing nearly 20 pounds as he knocked on doors through the summer, Tuesday's cool, clear fall weather and sunshine was "nice," Moore said.

"I'm not punishing my volunteers," he said.

Update, 4:10 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8:

Today is the day when months of campaigning come to a climax. In a city of 62,000 residents and 37,000 registered voters, elections don’t have polls.

It’s freeing in a way.

“I just concentrate on getting my message out to voters,” Councilman Mark Pierzchala said. “I don’t have to worry about how it’s playing.”

Pierzchala said he heard a lot from residents about the city’s Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance. The ordinance seeks to ensure that transportation infrastructure, public schools, fire and emergency service and water and sewer service, can sufficiently handle the impact of new development.

Residents were especially interested in what the ordinance meant for traffic congestion, Pierzchala said.

The ordinance needs to be re-examined, he said. A committee is doing just that.

“It hasn’t really benefitted us,” Pierzchala said.

The other issue on residents’ minds: RedGate Golf Course, which the

“RedGate would’ve been a big issue, but we solved it,” Pierzchala said.

Original post, 3:45 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8:

Voters mingled with swimmers as candidates made last minute pitches this morning at the , one of 10 polling places around the city.

Election Day dawned with beautiful fall weather and high hopes for good turnout.

“It’s always about turnout,” Councilman Mark Pierzchala, seeking re-election to a second term, said as he held one of his campaign signs near the cut-off line for canvassing. “And weather isn’t an issue today.”

At 10 a.m. Pierzchala had joined council candidates Tom Moore, John Hall and Les Francis at the swim center. Volunteers for mayoral candidates Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio and Councilman Piotr Gajewski and for council candidate Richard Gottfried also distributed literature.

Inside the swim center, Barry Klein, one of 48 elections judges assigned to polling places around the city, said turnout at the swim center had been good.

Candidates reported that turnout at other polling places, including the Twinbrook, Lincoln Park and Thomas Farm community centers was light during the morning rush.

About 25 voters visited the polls at Thomas Farm Community Center between when polls opened at 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., Moore said.

At the swim center, some voters in the first two hours had a 10 to 15 minute wait to vote on the precinct’s five voting machines, Klein said.

Voting machines are “zeroed out” before the polls open and the tapes from the machines are posted showing that no votes had been recorded on the machines. They’ll be posted again after the polls close at 8 p.m., Klein said. But unlike in statewide elections, there would be no midday updates of the number of votes cast, he said.

Klein said he was expecting a big rush of voters after the workday.

Correction: The original post for 5:20 p.m. incorrectly stated the year the District 2 polling place moved from Beall Elementary. District 2 last voted at Beall in 2007.

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