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No New Polling Location for Friendship Heights

In the 2014 primary and general elections, Friendship Heights residents may want to use early or absentee voting, rather than risk having to wait in long lines at the Friendship Heights Village Center.

Friendship Heights Metro marker. Photo credit: Laura L. Thornton.
Friendship Heights Metro marker. Photo credit: Laura L. Thornton.

While Chevy Chase is getting an early voting polling location in 2014 (there were no early voting polling locations in Bethesda and Chevy Chase in 2012), Friendship Heights will not be getting a new polling location for primary election day and general election day next year.

On Nov. 6, 2012 (the most recent general election day), the Chevy Chase precinct with the lowest percentage of voter turnout was precinct 07-26, which votes at the Friendship Heights Village Center. Of that precinct's 4,053 registered voters, only 53.15 percent cast ballots on election day (according to unofficial precinct results published on the Montgomery County Board of Elections website). Voters reported having to wait in long lines in order to vote at the Friendship Heights Village Center, Patch reported in November 2012.

But, precinct 07-26 is also the largest precinct in Chevy Chase. The average number of registered voters in each of Chevy Chase's nine precincts is 2,425. After Friendship Heights, the next-largest precinct (with respect to the number of registered voters) in Chevy Chase is the precinct that votes at Somerset Elementary School. It has 3,501 registered voters, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections website.

Precincts with more than 4,000 registered voters in them may be considered for realignment, but, in reviewing the list of polling places for the 2014 gubernatorial election, the Montgomery County Board of Elections determined that the Friendship Heights Village Center would remain the polling place for Precinct 07-26, Marjorie Roher, management and budget specialist and public information officer for the Montgomery County Board of Elections, told Patch.

"It is the hope of the Board that the additional opportunities provided by early voting ... and absentee voting will assist the voters of Montgomery County by increasing their voting options and making it more convenient to cast a ballot," Roher said.

Early voting for the next primary election will be June 12 to June 19, 2014, and early voting for the next general election will be Oct. 23 to 30, 2014.

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