(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) Arlington County set a new voting record yesterday.
Nearly 118,000 people voted in Tuesday’s general election, the largest numerical turnout on record in Arlington. Percentage-wise, however, the turnout came up just shy of a previous record.
About 83 percent of active registered voters cast a ballot yesterday, according to unofficial figures cited by Arlington County Registrar of Voter Linda Lindberg, compared to the record 85 percent active voter turnout during the presidential contest between George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton in 1992. Just over 83,000 ballots were cast in Arlington during that record-setting election; the county’s population has grown considerably since.
The wait times to vote at some polling stations yesterday exceeded two hours. Lindberg noted that “the last voter didn’t finish voting until about 9 p.m.,” since those in line before the 7:00 p.m. Virginia poll closing time are still allowed to vote. As of this morning, absentee ballots were still being counted.
In a brief interview last night with ARLnow.com, Arlington County Electoral Board Chairman Charlene Bickford suggested that the county may need to bolster its election operation for the next presidential race, four years from now.
“We’re definitely going to have to look at the number of [voting] machines we have,” she said.
Photo courtesy @thePhilipJones