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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com March 31, 2011 at 8:45 am 2,282 51 Comments

More Registered Voters Than Residents? — Something here doesn’t add up. There are 14 voting precincts in Arlington where there are more registered voters than voting-age residents, at least according to recent census figures. [Sun Gazette]

New 7-Eleven Coming to the Pike — A new 7-Eleven store is coming to 2330 Columbia Pike, across from the new Siena Park and Penrose Square apartments. The 24-hour convenience store is expected to open in the beginning of 2012. It replaces a former furniture store. [Pike Wire]

On Books and Soldiers — The Arlington Public Library Central Auditorium (1015 N. Quincy Street) will be hosting a community book discussion tonight focusing on the military. The discussion, starting at 7:00 p.m., will be led by Georgetown University professor Nancy Sherman, who has also taught ethics at the U.S. Naval Academy. She’ll discuss two books in particular: The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien and The Good Soldiers by David Finkel. [Arlington Public Library]

Flickr pool photo by Damiec

  • NPGMBR

    This is somewhat disappointing. I was hoping for a restaurant at the form SAAH location. I wonder how this 7/11 will hurt the Citgo/QuikMart next to it. There are already too many darn 7/11s on the Pike.

    • South Arlington

      The gas station store between Saah and Bob and Edith’s sells pretty much nothing but prepackaged pastries, gum and cigarettes. It seems like they get much more revenue from their excellent car inspection and repair services (and gas). But fully agree, this spot could have been better utilized than yet another 7-11.

    • PikeHoo

      No doubt. A 7-11 is slightly better than a vacant building, but only by a baby step.

      • OX4

        Agreed. The new 7-11 at N. Quinn and Wilson is embarrassing. I don’t know why tiny chalkboard sidewalk signs are illegal in Arlington, but 7-11 can put up an ugly ass 15 foot sign that screams “7-11” 5 blocks down Wilson.

        • Southeast Jerome

          no doubt about it. at least the 7-11 by VA square is somewhat decently designed and blends in (relatively) nicely

          • PikeHoo

            Yeah, the facade on that one in VA Square is about as nice as it gets. I have always thought of that 7-11 as a classier one, if that is even possible.

    • NomNom

      I doubt it will harm the gas station. It will do more damage to the 7-11 that is 3 blocks down the Pike next to the Draft House.

    • NomNom

      Perhaps next year’s alternative decal.

    • Josh S

      Oh well, two steps forward for the Pike, one step back.

  • SoArlRes

    Cool. Now you can get a Slurpee at practically every planned trolley stop! 😀

    • Hikin’ the Pike

      +1

  • G. Clifford Prout

    Oh dear God, no. Smith brothers aren’t too picky about who they rent to are they.

    • brendan

      BM Smith is a terrible company… rented from them once and it was a miserable experience. Maybe they’ve cleaned up their act and i can’t fault them for renting to 7-11 (they run a business and 7-11 is a stable, well-paying renter) but still bitter from the experiences i had trying to deal w/ their incompetent and rude property managers.

  • Burger

    The voting numbers are not that strange if one took time to think about it.

    The areas cited in the Sun-Gazette are relative all stable single-family homes. Meaning a good percent have older kids that have gone off to college but still register at home to vote but their parents do not consider them residents of their home or have move out but never updated the voting rolls.

    Also, each area stated does have some garden-style or apartment complexes, meaning renters and transient, that could throw the numbers off easily because of the relative lower density in those areas.

    Of course, it does also mean there could be fraud allowing people to vote in multiple jurisdictions but Democrats would never play with the voter rolls, now would they 😉

    • borf

      Republicans would never commit voter fraud either, now would they 😉

      Let’s not pretend that corruption and dirty tricks are partisan.

      • Greg

        Republicans prefer voter suppression…

        • NPGMBR

          LOL

        • However supression is not illegal.

          • borf

            That depends on how you do it, TG.

      • Burger

        I don’t live in those places, now do I? I live where there hasn’t been a GOP county board member for 10+ years so how much voter fraud could they do? hmm…I’ll let you think about that one but I’m sure you’l have a witty response defending the liberal mantra.

        • borf

          I understand that, but your comment implied that you thought only Dems were corrupt. If you had just said something like “politicians would never play with the voter rolls, now would they” it might be different.

          Sorry if I didn’t come up with a witty liberal response. I just have non-partisan rationality. Oh well.

  • Easton

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a pretty significant problem with the Census figures. The 2010 Census count for Arlington as a whole (207,627 residents) is about 5% less than the Census Bureau’s 2009 estimate for Arlington. That’s highly suspicious.

    Much if it may be due to a transient population (as stated in the Sun Gazette article), but if that’s entirely the case then we’d expect most voting precincts across Northern Virginia to have the same problem. My guess is that the Census Bureau goofed.

    • cj

      The voter lists are not frequently pruned, and include several thousand people countywide who have moved out of state, as well as many (such as students) who may or may not still live here and seldom vote. This is not just a problem of state list management. Federal law limits states’ ability to remove people from the list for not showing up at the polls. There’s also no system for exchanging voter information among states.

      • Thes

        The story says there were about 5% more *active* voters in one precinct than residents. Minor children, non-citizens, felons and those who simply choose not to register to vote are counted as residents, but presumably not active voters. Are there so many college students in those areas as to outnumber all those other populations. Seems suspicious.

        • cj

          Voters who move away — not just students, but mature adults who decide to leave paradise for lesser domains — are still rated as “active” unless and until the registrar’s office has gone through an elaborate process of checking the address against the USPS change of address files (or mailing something that bounces back), trying to contact the voter to verify the move, and getting either no response or confirmation of the move. This can inflate the voter rolls, especially in any precinct with rental complexes with turnover of up to 30% or so per year.

          • Thes

            Could be this too.

      • Easton

        I wonder if the same phenomenon (more registered voters than Census residents) occurred in these or other precincts with the 2000 and 1990 Censuses. If so, then it probably is a systemic problem with excess people on the voting rolls.

      • charlie

        let us not forget active military. I have three former roommies who are active military and continue to use my address as their legal residence.

        • borf

          Navy? 😉

          • charlie

            don’t ask don’t tell.

    • TLC

      I live in Rosslyn, and a Census worker told me point-blank that the Census response rate in Rosslyn was abysmal. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Census data is flawed, but because of low participation rates in some neighborhoods. I saw the Census worker at our building several times, so it’s not for their lack of trying.

  • CrystalMikey

    Wish it could have been a Wawa. *sigh*

    • Wawa +1

    • Burger

      I have a friend in Philly that works at Wawa’s corporate office and they only want to expand with new stores where Wawa can build a gas station. Most of the stand alone, non-gasoline Wawa’s have closed.

      So getting a Wawa in Arlington is almost impossible considering the County Board’s attempt at making Arlington a walking city.

      • CrystalMikey

        Well damn…

  • brendan

    not 100% on this — but aren’t the guidelines for registering to vote and participating in the census different?

    • Thes

      Many more people should be recorded on the census. Minor children, non-citizens, and those who choose not to register to vote are all supposed to be recorded on the census.

      • Aaron

        The college student explanation makes the most sense imho. If done correctly, college students are counted as residents at the school they attend, but most maintain their permanent residence for the purpose of all other residence-based life activities: taxes, voting, driver’s license, etc.

        • brendan

          @Thes – i think they took out the under 18s from the comparison.

          @Aaron – agreed. Following the re-registration efforts by Dems in 2004 and 2008 to game the system by strategically registering college students based on the most valuable voting location, several states have moved to limit the registration for college students from out of state so they would keep their registration in arlington, though not necessarily be counted in the census.

          Also – Voter rolls do need to be cleaned up a bit and it’s not really anyone’s fault… With all the transition, there are undoubtedly several thousand people in Arlington alone that changed their residence w/o being removed from the voter rolls. You kind of have to make a concerted effort to contact the board of elections or secretary of state to get taken off the list, simply re-registering in a new place doesn’t always take you off the previous address, especially if it is in a different county or state.

  • BoringDan

    Yipee. Another 7-11. Any word on a Starbucks going into that area?

    • NArl

      Its southside there are no Starbucks Southside, thats just crazy talk.

    • Josh S

      Yeah, I have to say I’ve been surprised one hasn’t gone into either the Halstead or Siena Park. I’m sure Rappahanock is breathing a sigh of relief. So far.

      Also, I don’t know what their cash flow situation is like, but I would think that to survive, they really need to expand. Presumably the Giant pharmacy next door will close when the new Giant opens – they should expand into that space, expand their menu, etc. There is a lot of potential to be a real neighborhood anchor.

      • NPGMBR

        Agreed. They should definitely do it right after the pharmacy moves out. Don’t get me wrong I like Starbucks but I also like competition and variety.

    • Moo-latte

      Us S-siders, or LA’ers actually, are generally presumed to be bland burned “mild” coffee drinkers. That’s why all we get is 7-11 (one mo’), DD, and the awful stuff they serve at tepid-hannock (never been the same since the founders sold out). I could make a mint if I could get a spot on the Pike to drop a French press and sspresso machine.

  • dugs53

    I thought we were looking to clean up the neighborhood. Is this going to open 24/7?

    • CrystalMikey

      When is a 7-11 not 24/7?

      • borf

        My hometown was so small, the 7-11 opened at 7 and closed at 11.

  • ArlVoter

    Are you citing the number of “voters” or the number of “active voters”? The registrar is required to hold on to “voters” for several years, or until told the voter has decamped. In a transient area like Rosslyn, folks don’t tell the registrar when they move on (or are they committed to filling out forms)!

  • GMo

    This just in: James O’Keefe begins his next project on voter fraud right here in Arlington.

    • Leroy.

      doesn’t matter which party you support – we should all come together and recognize james o’keefe is a dbag.

      • KalashniKEV

        All the mainstream stuff has been pretty funny and also well deserved. The John Kerry band-aid thing was offensive to me, but was that ever really attributed to him personally? I mean… he would have been 9 years old, no?

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