Update, Nov. 7 8:00 a.m.: With almost 53 percent of the vote incumbent Verjeana Jacobs has been declared the unofficial winner of the District 5 school board race. Challenger Raaheela Ahmed captured 47 percent of the vote. Check back with Patch for a full story later in the day.
Update, Nov. 7, 1:00 a.m.: With 76 percent of precincts reporting the District 5 school board race was too close to call. At the time of publishing, incumbent Verjeana Jacobs was ahead of Raaheela Ahamed by around 2,200 votes
The presidential election was officially called for President Barack Obama. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) have also won re-election.
Question 6 passed with 52 percent of the vote, making Maryland the first state to pass same-sex marriage on a referendum.
Check back with Patch later in the day for full precinct results and an update on the District 5 school board race.
Update, 10:00 p.m.: Maryland has already been called for Obama, and with an unknown number of precincts reporting, District 5 school board incumbent Verjeana Jacobs is leading challenger Raaheela Ahmed 52 percent to 47 percent.
Update, 6:10 p.m.: As election day draws to a close, District 5 school board representative incumbent Verjeana Jacobs says she feels grateful.
“You know, you work hard and you can and it can be hard to go through the political side,” said Jacobs, who was campaigning outside of Evangel Cathedral in Upper Marlboro Tuesday afternoon.
However, she said the email she has been receiving from supporters have been so thoughtful that it has been overwhelming.
Out stumping for Jacobs today was Bowie City Council member Isaac Trouth (District 4).
“Ms. Jacobs has had me working hard for her all day long,” joked Trouth. The Bowie city council publicly endorsed Jacobs in her candidacy in a letter to Patch last week.
Although challenger Raaheela Ahmed was the top vote getter in the spring primary, Jacobs said she is feeling optimistic.
“I’m feeling very positive and I’m so excited about the next several years,” said Jacobs.
As of 5:30 p.m., Bowie High School was reporting 773 ballots cast; Grace Lutheran was reported 1086.
Update, 3:40 p.m.: These Bowie teens may be too young to vote, but they aren't too young to stand up for what they believe in. Read their story here.
Update, 2:25 p.m.: Election judges in Bowie describe the lines as steady, and while some voters are still waiting up to an 90 minutes to cast their ballots, the waits are still significantly less than what some experienced during early voting.
Fran McCollum, an election judge at Bowie High said turnout seems up over previous years, and when asked about peak voting hours she quipped, "it's a permanent peak," while gesturing to the long line.
"I was thinking there weren't going to be any voters today because of early voting, but I was wrong about that," said McCollum.
At Kenilworth Elementary, election judge Ezio Cerrelli said that as of around noon, voters were waiting around 30 minutes to vote, down from a hour and a half earlier that morning.
Cerrelli said there had been no issues, but he did have to take one voting machine offline because it was malfunctioning, bringing the total number of machines at Kenilworth down to eight. He also said that some people had been turned away because although they thought they were registered to vote, their names did not appear in the voter registry.
As of 11 a.m. 443 ballots had been cast at Bowie High School, 415 at Grace Lutheran Church and around 600 at Kenilworth Elementary.
Update, 11:10 a.m.: Election day’s freezing early morning temperatures did not stop Bowie voters from lining up at the polls as early as 6 a.m. at some locations including Bowie High School, Grace Lutheran Church and Rockledge Elementary, according to election judges at those locations.
Bowie resident Fran McCollum, one of the chief election judges at Bowie High, said that once the polling precinct opened at 7 a.m., they were able to get voters in, in line and warmed up.
There were around 150 voters in a line snaking around the Bowie High cafeteria at 8:30 a.m. and voters were reporting wait times of around an hour and a half. Luckily for them, the line did not extend outside where the temperatures were still chilly.
There were three poll books and ten machines that were all operational, with chairs for those who needed them.
“Things have been going smoothly,” said McCollum.
Voters were not waiting outside of Bowie High, but electioneers were. Bowie resident Tony Best, who cast his ballot during early voting, was out stumping for District 5 school board candidate Verjeana Jacobs.
Best, who has two children, ages five and eight, in Prince George’s County Public Schools, said the school board race was very important to him during this election cycle.
“A lot of things need to happen with the school board and we need her experience there to make sure we have proper leadership,” said Best of Jacobs, referring to board’s ongoing superintendent search.
Bowie High was but one stop for Best on election day, who planned to head across town to stump for another candidate, and then make voter turn out calls to Virginia voters on behalf of Barack Obama later in the day.
After weeks of campaign television ads, robocalls and political mailings, the time to vote has arrived.
Polls open at 7 a.m. on election day, Nov. 6.
Bowie voters will cast ballots for the federal election, but that's not all that is at stake locally.
District 5 School Board Race
In what is perhaps one of the most watched races in the county six-year incumbent Prince George's County Board of Education Chair and District 5 representative Verjeana Jacobs faces off against newcomer, 19-year-old University of Maryland student Raaheela Ahmed.
Jacobs won her third term on the board soundly in 2010 with more than 61 percent of the vote, but Ahmed was the big winner in this year's primary, taking 34 percent of the vote to Jacob's 25 percent. (Both moved on to the general election because they were the top two vote-getters in the primary.)
After months of campaigning, now Bowie voters will get to decide.
- Question 1 and 2—Requires judges of Prince George's and Baltimore Counties' Orphan's Court to be certified lawyers and not just normal citizens. Read more.
- Question 3—Proposes a state amendment that elected officials are to be automatically suspended or removed from office when he/she is convicted of a crime. Read more.
- Question 4—Establishes that students, including undocumented immigrants, are eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at Maryland colleges provided that the student meets conditions related to attendance, graduation from a state high school, files income taxes and shows an intent to apply for permanent residency. In-state tuition would also be granted to military service members serving in Maryland but who technically reside elsewhere Read more.
- Question 5—Establishes newly created Congressional District boundaries based on census figures, proposed by Gov. Martin O'Malley. A "no" vote means the boundaries go back to the statehouse for new lines to be drawn for 2014. Read more.
- Question 6—Establishes that gay and lesbian couples are allowed to obtain a civil marriage license. Read more.
- Question 7—Allows for expansion of commercial gaming in Maryland, authorizing "table games" at already existing casinos, while adding another casino in Prince George's County. Read more.
How to use Patch on Election Day
Stay informed with hourly updates on voter turnout, exit poll data and precinct results. I'll be Tweeting, posting Instagram photos and interviewing electioneers throughout the area.
Polls close at 8 p.m.
- Where Do I Vote in Bowie?
- How Did Prince George's County Vote in 2008?
- Question 7: A Primer on Maryland's Expanded Gambling Referendum
- Weather in Prince George's County for Election Day