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By The Numbers: Early Voting Turnout

Candidates and supporters gather on June 12 at the Jane Lawton Community Center on the first day of early votingEarly voting in the 2014 gubernatorial primary was up compared to the 2010 primary, though it’s unclear what that improvement means when it comes to fears of historically low overall turnout on Tuesday.

Eight days of early voting for this year’s gubernatorial primary ended last Thursday. Here are the early voting numbers, broken down by category:

There were 141,590 total early voters in Maryland.

18,871 of those were in Montgomery County, which is just less than 3 percent of the county’s 630,255 active eligible voters. That is third behind Prince George’s County (21,959) and Baltimore County (22,285) in terms of total early voters but behind every jurisdiction except for Allegany, Saint Mary’s and Washington Counties when it comes to percentage of registered voters who voted early.

4.64 percent, or 16,443 of 354,078 registered Montgomery County Democrats voted early while less than 2,000 (1.47 percent) of registered Montgomery County Republicans voted early. That could be due to a number of uncontested Republican races.

2,017 out of 91,685 registered voters in legislative District 16 voted early, with the most voters (413) coming on June 19, the last day of early voting. That’s good for 2.2 percent of registered voters in the district that covers Bethesda, parts of Potomac and parts of North Bethesda.

In District 18, 2,545 of 74,284 registered voters voted early, a 3.43 percent early voting turnout. Just like in District 16, most of those early voters came out on June 19, when nearly 600 people voted.

If you shift the analysis to County Council District 1 (covering Chevy Chase, Bethesda, North Bethesda, Potomac and Poolesville) 2.43 percent of the district’s 150,653 registered voters came out early. That’s a total of 3,661 voters.

Montgomery County got permission from the State Board of Elections to add a ninth early voting center and for the first time, that meant early voting at the Jane Lawton Community Center in Chevy Chase.

That location hosted 2,187 early voters. Out of the county’s 630,255 registered voters (county residents could vote early anywhere in the county) that was good for a turnout rate of 0.35 percent.

That was about even with other early voting locations throughout the county, except for the Silver Spring Civic Building, which had 3,951 early voters.

What does it all mean? To some, it doesn’t signal much of anything. In fact, the improved primary early voting rate likely won’t mean improved overall turnout on Tuesday.

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