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  1. #1
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    Higher-Than-Expected Turnout Seen at Some Va. Polling Places

    Higher-Than-Expected Turnout Seen at Some Va. Polling Places

    By Amy Gardner, Brigid Schulte and Chris L. Jenkins
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Tuesday, November 6, 2007; 1:16 PM



    Turnout was mixed this morning at many polling places in Virginia as voters made their picks for hundreds of local offices and the General Assembly. Polls close at 7 p.m.

    In Reston, two voters were in line at Buzz Aldrin Elementary School at 8 a.m., usually a peak voting time. It was the same story at the Annandale Terrace precinct in Annandale.

    "I was voter no. 58," at 8 a.m. said Karen Metivier-Carreiro of Annandale. "I was in and out in less than five minutes, and that time included getting two kids in and out of the car with car seats."

    But turnout was somewhat heavier at polling places in areas with tight races or galvanizing issues.

    In Alexandria, turnout was heavier than expected at the Maury Elementary School, particularly for an off year election, because of the Virginia House race between Republican Mark Allen and Democrat David Englin. Long lines surprised the locals.

    Lief Jorgenson, a labor law consultant retired from the U.S. Department of Labor, made sure he was there to vote to keep the Democrat in office. The 10-minute wait was "unheard of" in an off-year election.

    "I am part of the Democratic majority in Alexandria," he said. "Here inside the Beltway we are the People's Republic of Northern Virginia. But this year, because Bush is so bad, Democrats have a chance of taking over in places they never even thought they could, and I say great."

    At the Claremont Immersion School, in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood in Arlington County, immigration was a big issue. Herman Lester, a Republican who called himself "lonesome" in the heavily Democratic area, said he supported local efforts like the one in Prince William County to crack down on illegal immigration.

    "That's the way it should work," he said, adding he was disappointed in how Bush and the federal government have failed to curb illegal border crossings.

    "I want them to close the border," he said.

    Samir Ghosh, a retired tax consultant, agreed that immigration was one the most important local issues.

    "I am an immigrant myself, and I think that only those that have earned their citizenship should be able to get a driver's license. I don't like the thought of anyone being pulled over to check their immigration status, but if they are caught doing something wrong the police should be able to check."

    In the close race between incumbent Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax) and Democratic challenger Chap Petersen, voters interviewed leaving the polls said they saw attributes they liked in both candidates.

    Francisco Bradford, 41, said he voted for Davis because "She's done a good job. She seems very active and dedicated to our community. I've voted for her for quite some time now. Chap just didn't seem to have energy."

    David Aguilar, 37, a Democrat, said it was a "tough choice" because he liked some of her stances on social issues and transportation funding. But ultimately, he said, he voted the "party line because I want to see a Democratic takeover" and liked Petersen as a delegate and city council member in Fairfax City.

    One potential glitch occurred in Fairfax County, where electronic, touch screen ballots in some precincts showed the party affiliation for candidates for state offices but not for local candidates such as the Board of Supervisors.

    Much is at stake today. Voters will signal what direction government should take on such high-profile issues as immigration policy, improving traffic and managing growth. Their choices will indicate whether they approve of a transportation plan devised last winter by Republican lawmakers that funnels hundreds of millions to Northern Virginia roads and transit system but imposes steep new fees on the state's worst drivers. And in races in which candidates have focused on immigration policy, they will indicate whether they want action on this emotional issue at the state and local level.

    In the legislature, partisan control is in the balance. Democrats need four seats to take over the Republican-held state Senate. Three of the hardest-fought Senate contests are in Fairfax County, where voters have been electing more Democrats recently and where three Republican incumbents -- Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, James K. "Jay" O'Brien and Ken Cuccinelli II -- face well-financed challengers.

    Republicans hold a more distinct advantage in the House of Delegates -- 57 to 40, with three independents.

    Prominent Democrats, including Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, former governor Mark R. Warner and U.S. Sen. James Webb have been touring the state in recent days, rallying Virginians to vote for change.

    Among the issues at stake, Kaine and others have said, are environmental policy, education funding (including the governor's proposal to expand pre-kindergarten programs) and efforts to improve mental-health services.

    Republicans, generally, have focused on their business-friendly tax positions, their party's role in the transportation plan and their support of a crackdown on illegal immigrants, including such measures as refusing them state and local services and denying them bail when they are charged with crimes.

    All told, more than 2,500 candidates are on the ballot across the state. But because there are no federal or statewide offices on the ballot, state election officials are anticipating low turnout. In 2003, the last off-year election, 31 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Locally, seats on county and school boards and several constitutional offices -- sheriffs, commonwealth's attorneys and court clerks -- are on the ballot

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 36_pf.html

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    Voter turn-out low in most areas
    Potomac News
    Tuesday, November 6, 2007



    Campaign workers stand outside Potomac Branch Library on Nov. 6, 2007 in Woodbridge, Va. The library is one of eight Woodbridge District voting locations. (Donnie Biggs/Staff Photographer)
    Despite tepid voter turnout in Manassas and most of eastern Prince William, poll volunteers say voting is high Tuesday morning at the Stonewall precinct in the Gainesville District, where the race for state senate between incumbent Democrat Chuck Colgan and GOP challenger Bob FitzSimmonds has heated up in the final weeks of the campaign.

    By noon, Republican party volunteers said they had counted 472 voters.

    "It's going great. A lot better than we expected," said volunteer Chris Pannell, who arrived at the polling place at 5:30 a.m. and planned to stay there until polls closed at 7 p.m.

    "They predicted nobody would be here, so this has been higher than we expected," said volunteer Sandy Ceccarelli.

    Volunteers said the Stonewall precinct had been pretty quiet Tuesday morning, despite the high number of voters.

    Across the sidewalk from the Republican party table, volunteers Myra and Bob Frappier handed out campaign literature supporting Colgan.

    The couple have volunteered for Colgan's campaign "every year but one" since he was first elected 1976, they said.
    "I think maybe this year it's been a little competitive for him, but I have faith in him," Bob Frappier said.

    They pass out campaign literature every year on Election Day, Myra Frappier.
    "By this point, everybody's pretty much made up their mind, but we pass out pamphets anyway," Myra Frappier said. "Some people are very gracious and take them; other people just walk on by and won't even look at you."

    Around the corner at the Sinclair precinct, voter turnout was "about average," election officials said.

    By noon, close to 300 voters had voted at Sinclair, they said.

    Damon Jeffres, a volunteer for Jeanette Rishell, a Democratic candidate challenging Jackson Miller for the 50th District seat, said the Sinclair precinct seemed slower than Manassas City precincts where he had worked earlier in the morning.

    "Here it's been rather slow so far," he said.

    Irene Kelly, a volunteer with Miller's campaign said the morning had been "uneventful."
    "It's been pretty uneventful here, but I guess that's good," Kelly said. "I've been amazed by the amount of older people with walkers and canes who have come. They obviously made an effort to get out and vote today."

    Illegal immigration and transportation proved to be hot issues in previous weeks, but the highest number of voters that cast ballots at the Springwoods precinct in Woodbridge was 17 between 7 and 7:30 a.m., according to one poll worker. That voter per half hour number dropped to 13 by noon. In the first six hours of voting, only 167 people cast ballots there.
    According to election official at Neabsco District's Dale City Elementary School precinct by 12:30 p.m. 123 voters had cast ballots out of 1,191 registered voters.

    The McCoart precinct in Woodbridge recorded 300 voters in the first three hours of voting today. This is one the largest precincts in the county with 3,300 registered voters.

    Voters at 9:30 a.m. had no difficulty and no lines. "It was a five-minute process," said one voter who didn't give her name.

    As of 10 a.m., 1,689 votes had been cast in the city of Manassas, according to Registrar Linda Womack. The city has 18,000 registered voters.

    She said the voting turnout is about average for a non-presidential election year. There was a 25 percent turnout in the last non-presidential election in 2003.

    The number of absentee ballots was way down this year -- 238 compared to 383 in 2003 which could indicate a lighter than normal voter turnout.

    She said an early morning rain may have kept down the numbers of those who go to the polls early in the day.

    There are no Board of County Supervisor or school board members for city voters which may also cut down on the voter turnout as compared to the voters in Prince William County.

    City residents will elect a state senator, house of delegates member, clerk of the court, commonwealth's attorney and sheriff.

    Three uncontested Soil and Water Conservation Board candidates are also on the ballot.

    http://www.potomacnews.com/servlet/Sate ... 3536&path=

  3. #3
    Senior Member ourcountrynottheirs's Avatar
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    That would include non-english speaking, unregistered people that think they can just show up and vote!!
    avatar:*912 March in DC

  4. #4
    Senior Member butterbean's Avatar
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    I pray to God that voter fraud won't happen. IMO, anyone who votes for a candidate who is soft on illegal immigration, is most likely an illegal immigrant.
    RIP Butterbean! We miss you and hope you are well in heaven.-- Your ALIPAC friends

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at http://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  5. #5
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    Immigration key divider in Va. vote
    Nov 6, 2007
    WASHINGTON -
    People on both sides of Northern Virginia’s immigration divide are expecting the issue to dominate the election in Prince William County and drive voter turnout higher than usual for an election with four board seats on the ballot.

    “The illegal immigration issue is really going to draw people out who normally don’t vote in local elections,
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

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