PGA Tournament threatens primary election voting in Bethesda -- Gazette.Net


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Voters in Bethesda and Potomac now have a good reason to vote early: golf.

The Tiger Woods Foundation’s Quicken Loans National golf tournament runs the week of June 23 at Congressional Country Club on River Road and primary election day — June 24 — is the day the pros are scheduled to play their practice rounds.

“Most people know what that golf tournament does to traffic,” said Marjorie Roher, spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Roher said the Board of Elections fears the tournament might hurt turnout if voters have trouble reaching the polls near the country club on election day.

It is suggesting area voters consider voting early instead.

Emily Taylor, vice president of communications for the Tiger Woods Foundation, said there is a transportation plan for every day of the tournament — which runs through June 29 — and most of the parking is off site.

“So what is coming near the course are shuttles,” she said. “We do that to help alleviate congestion in and around the course.”

While Walt Whitman High School’s parking lot is an overflow lot the tournament uses for its volunteers, Taylor did not anticipate it would be used on Tuesday.

Tuesday is also not a high traffic day for the Quicken Loans National, she said. Last year about 7,800 spectators showed on Tuesday of the tournament, compared to 40,000 on Saturday last year.

Voters can cast ballots at any of the county’s nine early voting centers from June 12 to June 19 between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

The Jane E. Lawton Community Recreation Center in Chevy Chase and the County Executive Office Building in Rockville are the two closest early voting centers to the affected area.

For those who can’t vote early, the elections board has identified eight precincts that could be affected by the golf tournament, she said. It is suggesting voters in those precincts plan ahead.

Affected precincts include:

10-10: River Falls Swim Club

10-09: Our Lady of Mercy School

10-07: Carderock Springs Elementary School

10:03: Seven Locks Elementary School

07-23: Walt Whitman High School

07-22: Bannockburn Elementary School

07-15: Thomas W. Pyle Middle School

07-03: Clara Barton Community Center



kalexander@gazette.net