Election Day ‘going well’ in Montgomery County, elections director says

Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jan Kelly said “we’ve had a really good day” so far as voting continues across the county.

She said concerns about poll worker call-offs and voter intimidation haven’t materialized and after maybe one or two hour-long lines when polls first opened this morning lines have been short.

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“It’s going well considering the fact that we have 6 foot distancing, we can’t use all of our machinery, even voting booths where people will vote a paper ballot have to be separated 6 feet so we can’t jam as many people into the polling locations as we usually do,” she said. “We were concerned about that with lines but it seems to be going really well.”

One thing that helps she said is how many people already voted. She said 57,674 people voted early in-person at the board of elections and 93,346 mailed or dropped off an absentee ballot with more arriving today at the Board of Elections drop box until 7:30 p.m.

This leaves 9,282 requested ballots that may be counted after election day if they are postmarked by Nov. 2 and arrive within 10 days.

Other than those ballots, Kelly anticipates her office will have nearly all votes cast by the end of voting today to be counted by midnight or sooner.

During a 10 a.m. press conference, Kelly said her office has been fielding calls about “the usual,” minor issues, including canvassers being within 100 feet of a polling location (who agreed to move when asked), long lines and voters showing up to the wrong polling location.

She reiterated that absentee ballots had to be postmarked by Nov. 2 to be counted but they can still be dropped off until 7:30 p.m. at the board of elections' dropbox. Voters who requested absentee ballots and show up to vote at a polling location on Election Day will have to cast a provisional ballot.

Kelly said she heard some concerns from voters about the time stamp on voting machines being off. This is due to the recent time change, she said, and the time on the ballot scanners should be correct.

“Nothing’s going to be wrong if your ballot doesn’t have the right time when you look at the express vote machine; the scanner has it,” she said.

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Kelly predicted Monday that about 75% of the county’s registered voters will cast ballots in this election. She said Tuesday morning she would stick with her prediction for now but reserved the right to change her mind later in the day. If voter turnout is above 75%, she said she is still confident Montgomery County will have results before midnight.

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