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Election Turnout Light So Far, Despite Competitive County Board Race

Despite one of the most consequential and competitive County Board races in recent memory, relatively light turnout has been reported at the polls in Arlington so far today.

Linda Lindberg, Arlington County’s top elections official, said turnout was around 12 percent as of 12:45 p.m.

“It’s been pretty light,” Lindberg told ARLnow.com “Some precincts are doing quite well and others are very, very slow.”

Lindberg said turnout is similar to the 2011 election, when 26 percent of registered voters went to the polls. She expects the final turnout today to be around that figure. The number of absentee ballots submitted this election cycle — 2,200 — is also comparable to 2011.

“I would have thought that we would have done a little better this time, because we do have a more competitive County Board race,” Lindberg said.

No major problems have been reported at the polls, which opened at 6 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m. Arlington County is using paper ballots this year, a throw back to the mid-20th century. Most recently, Arlington had been using electronic voting machines that were later revealed to have serious security flaws.

Some voters who required assistance using the ballot reading machines have complained that poll workers could see who they voted for while demonstrating how to use the machines.

“We’re going to iron out those issues,” Lindberg said.

The Arlington County elections office will be tweeting County Board election results live tonight after polls close, via its @arlingtonvotes Twitter account.

Registered voters who have not yet cast ballots can find out more information about the candidates via the League of Women Voters voter guide.

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