Election Changes Designed to Boost Gaithersburg Voter Turnout

Gaithersburg has made changes to the way voters will pick the people who represent them in City Hall.

One of the reasons has been to improve voter turnout, which was 9.61 percent in the 2017 balloting. Generally, the city tallies between 10 percent and 12 percent, said N. Lynn Board, city attorney.

The changes will be in place for the 2019 election. The Gaithersburg Mayor and Council serve four-year terms, staggered every two years.

One of the bigger changes has been to expand the election cycle from 45 days to 75 days, she said.

Candidates will need to get their petitions to be on the Gaithersburg ballot 30 days sooner, which also extends the period that absentee ballots will be available.

The extra time will give candidates more opportunities to campaign, and organizations will have a longer time to hold candidate forums, Board said.

Another new change allows voters to register the day they vote, both during early voting and on election day. Previously, voters had to register

during is to include a recount provision in the city code. And voters will have same-day registration during early voting and election day.

The mayor and council approved the changes on Aug. 20.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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