Showing posts with label Rockville voting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rockville voting. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Mayor & Council unanimously approve voting by mail for Rockville city elections

Rockville's Mayor & Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve voting-by-mail for City elections. Early voting and most physical polling places will be eliminated; voters who wish to vote in-person will have to go to City Hall to cast their ballots.

The new voting-by-mail option will be available in the next election for Mayor & Council, in 2019.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Rockville officials consider allowing voting by mail

Rockville's Mayor and Council are considering a recommendation by the city's Board of Supervisors of Elections to allow residents to vote in city elections by mail. A public hearing on the proposal will be held on Monday, February 5, 2018 at 7:00 PM. Anyone wishing to testify at the hearing should call 240-314-8280 before 4:00 PM on February 5.

Only 15.87% of voters participated in the last city election in 2015, and that number has steadily declined over several consecutive elections. Some believe that mailing ballots to voters will increase participation.

Voters would sign an affidavit on the outside of the mailing envelope, which would have a trackable bar code on it, and then mail it back. Ballots could also be dropped off in-person. Switching to voting-by-mail could eliminate the costs of personnel and voting machines during elections.

Considering how many pieces of mail get lost, I would hesitate to vote by mail myself, out of concern that my vote would wind up in somebody else's house, or in the gutter (both have actually happened to me). I would probably return it in-person to make sure my vote counted.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Montgomery Community Media and the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County hosted a Montgomery County Council At-Large Candidate Forum last night. You can watch the debate in its entirety here. Candidates from the Democratic, Green and Republican parties participated in the forum, which included transportation, Bus Rapid Transit, the Silver Spring Transit Center debacle, and affordable housing among its topics.

Today is the deadline to register to vote in the November 4 election. You can register today online or go to the Board of Elections office in person at 18753 North Frederick Avenue, Suite 210, Gaithersburg, MD 20879. If you have questions, call 240-777-8500.

Early voting will be available for all registered voters between October 23 and October 30 at these early voting sites around the county.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Less than 17% of Rockville voters bothered to vote in last November's city elections. That has been accepted as fact for the past two Rockville elections.

Not so fast, warned former Rockville councilman Jim Marrinan at Monday's Mayor and Council meeting.

"Flat out, the actual percentage of Rockville residents voting in the last election was higher than the reported" number, Marrinan said during the Community Forum portion of the meeting. The problem, Marrinan said, is that too many ineligible voters remain on the Rockville voting rolls. 

Marrinan gave a personal example - his own adult daughters are still on the eligible voter list in Rockville, despite not being residents. Brigitta Mullican, a former candidate for mayor and council, previously commented on Rockville Patch that she encountered a number of inaccuracies in the current voter rolls, while campaigning door to door in the city. 

The discrepancies may be making Rockville voters sound more like slouches than they actually are, when it comes to exercising their right to vote. Marrinan still believes the actual number could use a boost. He suggested adding early voting for city elections. Marrinan's proposal to lower the cost of such voting, would be to have it on the Saturday prior to election day, from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

In the meantime, Rockville, don't feel so bad about your voting record.  The "number of ineligible voters on our eligible voter list is quite high,” Marrinan said.

Responding to Marrinan's advice to clean up the voter list and add early voting, Mayor Bridget Newton said, "I actually agree with you on both points." Newton added that her non-resident son remains on the eligible voter list, as well.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Fallout from a recent dust-up over Rockville's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) continues in the final hours of the 2013 Mayor and Council election.

An attempt to weaken the ordinance, which requires sufficient city infrastructure - schools and classroom space, fire and rescue resources, etc. - before development can proceed, drew a crowd of outraged residents to a contentious Public Hearing 35 days before the election. Now the disagreement over the future of the APFO standards has become the central issue in the city election.

As candidates visit homes and meet with voters across Rockville, two members of a committee that considered changes to the APFO in 2011 are urging voters to support the candidates they say will keep the current, higher APFO standards in place.

Tom Gibney, who served on the city's APFO Review Committee, says the award of an APFO waiver to the Silverwood development was a dangerous mistake, and strongly criticizes mayoral candidate Mark Pierzchala for his deciding vote on that matter, in a letter to the Gazette.

Gibney cites his committee's own review of the Silverwood case in his letter. The data that predicts 75-95% of residents will drive south on Route 355 in the morning suggests a dangerous situation for drivers and pedestrians in that area.

He says all of the Silverwood vehicles will have to use the sole means of egress from the apartment complex - a driveway onto 355. The problem, Gibney writes, is that - in order to reach the southbound lanes of 355, drivers will have to first dash across 3 of the highway's northbound lanes. Then, they will have to make a U-turn via a brief signal at Ridgemont Avenue. Gibney warns that this could result in "accidents and fatalities."

If Silverwood is an example of the "smart growth" Pierzchala and the Team Rockville slate are promising, Gibney concludes, "he does not deserve to be Mayor."

Gibney says he is supporting Bridget Newton for mayor, because she opposed the waiver for Silverwood as a councilmember.

A second member of the APFO Review Committee, Sean Hart, is also speaking out. In an email circulating on community listservs, and obtained by Rockville Nights, Hart expresses concern that some Rockville candidates "want to remove key components of the APFO," to permit far more development and growth in the city than is currently allowed. "Rockville is severely over capacity for schools, and as we all know, driving around town can be very slow," notes Hart.

Hart writes that his own analysis of the data while serving on the APFO committee suggests that working closely with the state and county to ensure needed infrastructure gets funded and built would be a better approach than weakening the APFO.

To foster that approach, he urges his fellow citizens to only vote for the 3 candidates who have been outspoken in their support of maintaining the current APFO standards: Newton for mayor, and Don Hadley and Claire Marcuccio Whitaker for city council.

"It is my belief that voting for [those] 3 (and only [those] 3) candidates for Mayor and Council will help us continue to take an appropriate approach to growth in the city," Hart concludes. Voting for only 3 candidates on the ballot, rather than the maximum possible 5 (1 mayoral+4 council seats), is allowed when voting in Rockville.

There are now less than 24 hours before city residents begin voting.