Election Turnout Light, Officials Say

by ARLnow.com November 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm 2,669 34 Comments

With about three more hours left to vote in today’s general election, officials are predicting a low but slightly improved turnout.

Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg says she’s expecting a roughly 30 percent active voter turnout rate by the time polls close at 7:00 p.m. That would be only slightly higher than the past two comparable off-year elections: 26 percent turnout in 2007 and 29 percent turnout in 2003.

“It’s been pretty slow,” Lindberg said over the phone this afternoon. “It’s an improvement over 2007, but… it’s pretty average.”

Absentee voting was significantly higher than usual this year, however. There have been about 2,200 absentee ballots received so far, compared to 1,360 total received in 2007.

Unofficial election statistician and Arlington County Treasurer Frank O’Leary predicted last night that today’s active voter turnout would be about 43,450, or just over 32 percent.

  • novasteve

    When I went before 8AM, there was no line. I guess Remy and Myself won’t be getting that many votes.

    • KalashniKEV

      I’m going to vote for you in the County Board race in an hour or so…

      • novasteve

        Unfortunately I’d have to post my last name for the vote to count. I did write myself (and Remy) in for the board as well as the CA position.

        • novasteve to be identified

          It should not be too difficult to figure our your name if you did vote for yourself. In due course, all the votes get recorded.

          • Rick

            I wrote in NOVA STEVE and myself for the board

  • Bluemontsince1961

    I voted around 6:15 this morning. No lines, about four other people were in the auditorium voting or exiting the voting area.

  • Clizzledizzle

    Voted 8 AM in Lyon Village.

    Merrick, Hynes and Brink.


    • Patrick

      +1 for Merrick

      • KalashniKEV

        +1 Merrick

        • Tabby


  • NorthArlingTim

    I have so much election garbage I don’t want to vote for anyone. Green, my tush.

  • QP Girl

    I (and a lot of people) would be much more excited about voting if there were actual choices. Except for one or two races it’s all incumbents running unopposed. Why bother?

    • Steve

      Next time we can write each other in.

  • Godzilla’s Revenge

    I voted in the Wilson District at about 8:15 am and no one else was there. On my way out, I got interviewed by Japanese TV asking why I even bothered voting when there was no serious competition in any of the races. I used the “voting is an important civic responsibility no matter what” story….which I believe. It really wasn’t much of race though.

  • PBSfan

    Voted for every Republican. Where there was no Republican candidate, I voted against the Democrat incumbent.

  • Do Not Write In

    A foolish write-in vote waste the time of the volunteers who operate the polls.

    Unlike the joking voter, the volunteers who have been working usually since 5 am, must stay late and tabulate all the votes well after 7 pm, including the joke write-in votes. The joke write-in votes consume a lot of extra time. Although people think they are being witting or something, it is a waste of time for everyone. Write-in ballots should be reserved for serious write-in candidates, not the self-indulged jokers. A write-in vote is not “sticking it to the Man.”

    Try to the Golden Rule: if you bothered to work at the polls for 14+ hours, would you want to be staying late to count joke write-in votes?

    • KalashniKEV

      Hey, you vote for the person you want no matter what their chances of winning. Anything else is a perversion of democracy. Given the choices presented, I would rather have NovaSteve on the county board.

      Ciggies and stick shifts for all! Embrace the clutch, lefties!!!

      • donnasonio

        Fine, if you are voting for a person who is legally qualified to hold the job. “Anybody Else” or its variants does not qualify. Neither does “Bart Simpson” or “Bozo the Clown”.

    • alebt

      I seriously disagree with the premise that I am supposed to take into consideration the sensibilities and time constraints of PAID election officials when I vote. If I choose to write in “Sparky the Dog” for an elected post that is every bit a considered political statement as mindlessly checking the box for the MANY un-contested races in this election..

    • Dan

      I truly hope that you aren’t an election worker…

    • Do you feel the same about absentee ballots? Are you saying people should only be able to vote by going to a machine?

      What is a “serious write-in candidate”? Wouldn’t that be any write in candidate? It is, after all, an election.

    • Rick

      Writing in means I don’t approve of the job the unopposed person is doing. Not that they will care, but I’m part of a group making sure 100 percent of the people don’t want them doing what they do.

      • Thes

        I agree that writing in the name of a real person in order to say who’d you prefer to win is a legitimate political statement — including a statement of dissent. (Which is different than a “joke” write-in like Batman.)

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Exactly Rick.

  • Arlingtoon
  • TGEoA

    Not only should you write in, you should also refuse to provide ID and sign an affidavit instead.

    This way the lazy democrats will be less likely to wait to vote.

  • novasteve

    I truly cannot stand any politician, but given our lack of choice here in Arlington, I’m thinking of starting my own political party for the next elections, I’ll call it the Anti Nanny State League.

    • Steamboat Willie

      The early returns for the Merrick/Favola race suggest that nearly all of Merrick’s voters showed up on this thread.

      • AllenB

        The late returns show the same thing… Favola lapped her… more than 2:1 margin.

        • Aaron

          I wouldn’t call a 58-42 split “more than 2:1 margin.”

  • Stillwell

    Absolutely no lines in Humes District (Arlington Ridge) around 9am this morning. No republican handing out sample ballots, only democrats and green party volunteers, I think later on a republican showed. Arlington really is a one party county. At least when I lived in Fairfax county I felt it a little more important to vote. Still, I came out and voted, because I feel it a civic duty. Many of my peers didn’t even bother.

  • Westover Leftover

    I still say there were more political signs put out than votes cast.

    • Stillwell

      I would have to agree with you there.

    • Bluemontsince1961

      I’d agree with that, Westover Leftover. I wonder how long it will be before the campaigns take their signs off the medians? Seems they leave them there and don’t care once the campaigns are over.


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