Montgomery County Plays Big Role in Approving Same-Sex Marriage
Montgomery County voters played a significant role in helping Maryland become one of the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote. Officials in Maryland and Maine, both with same-sex marriage questions on the ballot yesterday, took the claim as the first state to achieve the historic designation. Either way, gay couples will be able to marry in Maryland starting Jan. 1 and Montgomery County voters appeared to shoulder much of the load in ensuring that at the polls. Statewide, 51.9 percent voted in favor of upholding the law that establishes same-sex marriage while 48.1 percent voted against for a raw total of 1,252,568 for and 1,158,719 against. That gave gay marriage supporters a positive margin of almost 94,000 votes. In Montgomery County alone, the margin in favor of same-sex marriage was 119,910. It was by far the largest margin in favor of Question 6 of all six jurisdictions that ended up for same-sex marriage. The majority of voters in Baltimore City, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County and Frederick County also voted for Question 6, according to state election data. About 4,000 more voters in Prince George's County, one of the state's other large jurisdictions, voted against Question 6 than for it. On expanded casino gambling, which was approved by a 52 percent to 48 percent split, the margin of Montgomery County voters in favor (about 38,000 votes) was less pronounced. Montgomery County voters were for the Dream Act by more than a 2 to 1 ratio, similar to results in Prince George's County and Baltimore. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) of Kensington won reelection by the smallest margin since he first won his House seat against incumbent Republican Connie Morella in 2002. But despite a reconfigured 8th Congressional District that includes parts of more conservative Fredrick and Carroll Counties, Van Hollen still won with a comfortable 62.5 percent of the vote. Republican challenger Ken Timmerman, also of Kensington, won slight margins of victory in Frederick and Carroll Counties. But Montgomery County voters in District 8 voted for Van Hollen by an overwhelming ratio of more than 3 to 1. Potomac resident and independent Senate candidate Rob Sobhani got almost 17 percent of the statewide vote after an aggressive advertising campaign. Still, most of that support seemed to come from Baltimore County, where Sobhani saw the most raw voting support of any jurisdiction. Incumbent Ben Cardin (D) won with 55 percent of the vote. Barack Obama won Maryland with 61.4 percent of the vote and 70.6 percent of the Montgomery County vote. Just more than 27 percent of county voters chose Republican Mitt Romney, compared to 36.5 percent statewide.