Area counties see jump in absentee voting

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County has already topped the number of absentee ballots requested during the last presidential election with two more weeks to go before the deadline.

According to the county election board, 45,804 county voters have requested absentee ballots so far. That is 820 more than the 44,984 total number of absentee ballots requested in the 2012 election.

Prince George’s County reports that it has sent out 18,911 absentee ballots so far this year, roughly on par with the total 25,726 sent out for the 2012 election.

Absentee ballot figures for the District were not immediately available. Early voting begins in D.C. on Saturday and in Maryland on Oct. 27.

The absentee ballot requests are due Nov. 1 by mail and Nov. 4 by email in Maryland.

Across the river in Virginia, voters have been casting in-person, absentee ballots since September.

Absentee voting is up sharply in Fairfax County. So far, 23,160 ballots have been cast compared to 11,306 for the same period in the last presidential election in 2012.

Fairfax shares the 10th congressional district with Loudoun County and polls show the district features a very close race between incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock and her Democratic challenger LuAnn Bennett. Fairfax County voters are also being asked whether to approve or reject a 4 percent meals tax.

Fairfax voters also have two additional weeks for absentee voting and access to three more voting locations this year compared to 2012.

Absentee voting is also higher in Arlington County.

“We are running at 48 percent to 50 percent higher compared to 2012,” said Linda Lindberg, director of elections for Arlington County. “We don’t have any hotly-contested local races, voting is just up for the federal races,” Lindberg said.

In-person, absentee voting is up across Virginia.

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