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Foreign Visitors Flock to Arlington for Elections

by ARLnow.com November 4, 2010 at 9:52 am 1,135 8 Comments

Visitors from about a dozen countries came to Arlington on Tuesday to witness democracy in action.

As it does nearly every election day, Arlington played host to foreign media outlets and to foreign officials interested in learning more about the American election process.

Television news crews from France, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, China, Australia and the UK all brought cameras to Arlington polling places throughout the course of the day.

The State Department and several NGOs also hosted visitors in Arlington. Observers from Spain, Bulgaria, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere came to learn about “how we run democracy in the U.S.”

Despite a large number of requests this year, county Registrar Linda Lindberg says there were even more requests from foreign visitors during the 2008 presidential election.

She said that Arlington’s proximity to D.C. is what makes it an attractive location. The county is not chosen for any specific reason — it’s simply used as an example of what takes place in the country as a whole.

The television crews are “just looking for background shots, B-roll shots,” Lindberg said.

She noted that the county tries to plan foreign visits to polling places in a way that ensures voters aren’t disturbed.

“They have to keep them in small groups so they don’t disrupt the election.”

  • PurpleFlipFlops

    No foreigners at my polling place.

  • Chris Slatt

    Hey! That’s my polling place!

  • charlie

    i was hoping this would be a piece about foreign people VOTING in our election.
    what a let down. I had several endless rants prepared. most blaming the board.

  • suzy

    Ha! I was interviewed by German television after I voted – wondered why they were there! I also figured it would never run locally so it was OK to be on TV for once.

    • CrystalCity’er

      There go your 15 minutes of German fame.

  • Blueloom

    “Observers from Spain, Bulgaria, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere came to learn about ‘how we run democracy in the U.S.’ ” Now, there’s a scary thought! I can think of a whole lot of countries whose elections are conducted in a much more democratic fashion than ours. As for Arlington itself, I have no way of verifying (1) if my vote was cast at all, or (2) if it was cast, was it awarded to the person I selected. Am I some kind of wing-nut? Nope, I’m a certified BHL (bleeding heart liberal) who no longer trusts the US election system.

    • Diebold

      Your welcome.

  • Maxine LUnn

    We’re hardly typical, but whatever…..low transport costs

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