Early voting proved to be a hit in Montgomery County during the 2012 election, and now the county will move from five such sites to nine after a vote by the county’s Board of Elections Monday.
Chevy Chase, Damascus, Gaithersburg and Wheaton will get new sites to go along with the previously used sites in Burtonsville, Germantown, Rockville and Silver Spring. A second site was added in Silver Spring.
The sites were chosen from a list of 16 from around the county that met various criteria, such as being close to major roadways and with access to public transportation.
The board debated the merits of various locations for more than an hour Monday, finally voting 3-2 to approve the list of nine that had been suggested.
Elections board President Mary Ann Keeffe said she thought the sites that were chosen offered a good representation of the process used to choose them, and added new sites in heavily populated areas of the county.
They include four of the five sites the county had previously used, eliminating the Bauer Drive Community Recreation Center in Rockville.
After early voting drew long lines to many sites around Maryland in 2012, the General Assembly voted earlier this year to increase the number of sites that were available in each county.
Large counties such as Montgomery were allowed an increase from five sites to eight, with the addition of a ninth if officials in the county agreed.
Both Montgomery’s County Council and County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) supported adding a ninth site, as did the county’s Board of Elections.
“I believe that the citizens of Montgomery County deserve to have the expanded voting opportunities that the ninth site would provide,” Leggett wrote in a letter to the elections board.
The sites chosen were:
• Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg.
• Damascus Community Recreation Center, 25520 Oak Drive, Damascus.
• Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe St., Rockville.
• Germantown Community Recreation Center, 18905 Kingsview Road, Germantown.
• Jane E. Lawton Community Recreation Center, 4301 Willow Ln., Chevy Chase.
• Marilyn J. Praisner Community Center, 14906 Old Columbia Pk., Burtonsville.
• Mid-County Community Recreation Center, 2004 Queensguard Road, Silver Spring.
• Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place, Silver Spring.
• Wheaton Neighborhood Recreation Center, 11711 Georgia Avenue, Wheaton.