(Updated at 4:10 p.m) Early voting is underway and the election is five weeks out but, compared to other parts of Virginia, politicking in Arlington is still a little sleepy.
This year is an off-year, meaning there are no federal offices on the ballot to drum up turnout. Some call this year, like 2019 before it, an “off-off-year” because the ballot lacks statewide offices, such as governor, too.
“We’ve been pretty quiet compared to other parts of Virginia,” Director of Elections Gretchen Reinemeyer says.
About 1% of Arlington’s 154,320 registered voters have cast their ballots already and the only early-voting location currently open, Courthouse Plaza, is averaging 101 voters a day, according to the county’s election dashboard.
Turnout is on par with the rest of Northern Virginia, which is seeing less early voting activity than more competitive jurisdictions and Republican strongholds to the south and west, according to data collected by the Virginia Public Access Project.
The local Democratic party chalks this up to the high number of uncompetitive races. Arlington’s GOP committee, meanwhile, says Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s active campaigning for Republicans seeking local office and “vote early” message might be getting more Republicans out to the polls.
For state Senate, for instance, some 1,330 have voted in the 40th District and some 1,860 in the 39th District, currently held by Sens. Barbara Favola and Adam Ebbin, respectively, who are seeking re-election, compared to the 4,500-5,500 votes cast in some competitive or heavily Republican jurisdictions.
At this point in the race, slower Democrat turnout can be expected because more Democrats vote by mail, which comes with a lag time, a spokesman for Arlington County Democratic Committee. Data show 640 of the 13,119 mailed ballots have been returned in Arlington.
He predicts early voting will pick up once more locations open and hours are extended.
Another factor is the seven uncontested races: there are no challengers for Clerk of the Court Paul Ferguson, Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, Treasurer Carla de la Pava, Acting Sheriff Jose Quiroz, Commissioner of Revenue candidate Kim Klingler, District 1 Del. Patrick Hope and District 2 candidate Adele McClure.
There are two Republican challengers for Favola and Ebbin — David Henshaw and Sophia Moshasha, respectively — and District 3 Del. Alfonso Lopez faces a challenger in independent Major Mike Webb, who seeks office frequently.
“Almost every race in places like Arlington and Fairfax are uncontested or it’s very obvious the Democratic candidate has a huge advantage,” a local Democratic spokesman told ARLnow. “The reality is that the races in Arlington are all going to be relatively non-competitive compared to others in Virginia.”
Volunteers with Arlington Democrats have been spending their weekends knocking doors in jurisdictions where election outcomes determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the state House of Delegates and Senate, he said. National media note the stakes are high in Virginia this year, particularly for issues such as abortion.
Although it is tougher to beat a Democrat in Arlington, Matthew Hurtt, who chairs the Arlington County Republican Committee, says Henshaw and Moshasha have received “significant support” from the state GOP for their campaign literature, websites and yard signs.
“Gov. Youngkin is committed to being competitive everywhere,” he said, noting the governor’s early voting rallying cry this election. “The Spirit of Virginia came in for every candidate, including those up here who are long-shot candidates.”
It will take that investment until the next off-off year, in 2027, for Republicans to make inroads in Northern Virginia, he said.
Six months ago, the Arlington County Board adopted ranked-choice voting for the upcoming Democratic primary.
Since then, the Arlington elections office has been busy educating anyone who asks on the method, which only applies to candidates for County Board.
The Arlington branch of the NAACP, however, says the county needs to step up its outreach to ensure all voters are prepared when they cast early ballots or go to the polls on June 20.
ARLnow, for instance, has heard from some residents who are unsure or skeptical of how votes will be counted.
“We have directly heard a series of grave concerns from our community regarding the implementation of this significant change,” NAACP President Mike Hemminger said in a statement. “We will be monitoring this change with intense focus in the run up to and after the election to ensure that no one’s foundational right to vote becomes disenfranchised or impeded in Arlington County.”
Concern about outreach highlights the stakes of this trial run. Arlington is the first Virginia jurisdiction to test ranked-choice voting for the primary and one election official tells ARLnow that people outside the county are watching closely.
“It’s fair to say, without sounding dramatic, that the eyes of the Commonwealth are on Arlington and this ranked-choice voting process,” Arlington Electoral Board Secretary Scott McGeary says.
So far, interest in learning more about ranked-choice voting is strong, says Arlington Dept. of Voter Registration and Elections Director Gretchen Reinemeyer.
Her staff is working through an education plan it rolled out in April. Part of that is making presentations — at a clip of at least two presentations a week, and once three in one night — and helping community groups facilitate workshops.
“Rollout for ranked-choice voting has gone smoothly,” Reinemeyer says. “I would say that most voters understand the concept and are aware that the County Board race is using the voting method. A handful of voters are vocally unhappy. The most common question is ‘Do I have to rank all three?'”
The answer to that, McGeary says, is no. People can rank up to three candidates — the maximum county ballot machines can accommodate. Some recent endorsements have recommended how candidates should be ranked.
One key strategy was developing toolkits so that people and organizations could host information sessions and run mock elections, which Reinemeyer said has been an effective way to reach lots of people and explain how votes are counted.
“The idea of these toolkits is that anyone can take the toolkit and teach their friends, neighbors, community organizations about ranked choice voting,” Reinemeyer said. “We are seeing members of our community run with these toolkits.”
The county is also relying on materials the state produced. This includes two videos — one explaining how ranked-choice voting works and the other how votes are counted — as well as an FAQ page and flyers in Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese.
One notable change, per a state video, is that if there are no clear winners, it could take up to seven days to apportion second- and third-choice votes to determine who actually won.
“I have no doubt we’ll be able to do the math properly and get the results as fast as possible,” McGeary said. “From a technical and counting standpoint, I’m confident we’ll be able to count and announce as soon as possible.”
Election Day is here, and thousands of residents are hitting the polls — manned by 426 volunteers — to cast their ballots in the 2022 mid-term election.
By 9 a.m., about 10% of Arlington voted in-person, according to the county elections office, in addition to the 13% of people who voted early and in-person and 7% who voted by mail.
“The polls have been steady so far this morning,” said Tania Griffin, spokeswoman for the Arlington Office of Voter Registration and Elections.
Turnout in a midterm is typically about half the turnout of a presidential election, Arlington Director of Elections Gretchen Reinemeyer previously told ARLnow.
Just over 20,000 people voted early in this year’s general election, Griffin said. Combined with the more than 11,000 absentee ballots sent in, Virginia Public Access Project says Arlington’s early voting rate surpasses those for Northern Virginia and the state. (Nearly 5,000 have not returned the mail ballots they requested.)
In 2018, the last midterm election, 21,147 ballots were cast early, per VPAP.
While early voting got off to a muted start to in September, and was “slightly slower” than last year’s election, local and statewide Democrats celebrated early voting numbers yesterday during a rally at the home of Matt de Ferranti, the Democrat Arlington County Board incumbent running for re-election.
“The trends are positive, particularly in the three parts of the state that have really competitive congressional districts. We see high numbers, and we really see good Democratic advantage in the early vote,” said U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), who came out for the rally. “We really like what we’re seeing.”
Kaine said one top driver for races this year is the economy, which he characterized as a mixed bag.
“You have inflation but you have historic job growth. Inflation might make you worry if there’s a downturn coming, but then you see how strong job growth is — during Biden’s term, 10 million-plus jobs, manufacturing coming back, big job announcements with Amazon,” he said. “I think the evidence will be mixed.”
Among the countywide races, voters can choose between two School Board candidates — independent, Sun Gazette-endorsed James “Vell” Rives IV and Arlington County Democratic Committee-endorsed Bethany Sutton.
In Arlington, the most watched race this year is likely that for County Board, which has become a showdown on the topic of Missing Middle housing — the proposal to open up single-family zoning to smaller-scale multifamily housing.
De Ferranti said that could have driven the relatively higher early voting showing.
“The early vote we’re seeing is so stepped up that we’ll have to see what the total turnout is,” de Ferranti said. “This is greater turnout than 2018 so far, and I think some of that is the discussion we’re having on housing.”
“After squeezing in last minute doorknocking yesterday, and all the responses I’m receiving this morning at precincts, I’m feeling very optimistic for the campaign and the success of the Missing Middle housing proposal,” Theo told ARLnow.
Crystal City Water Park to Get Big Upgrade — “JBG Smith Properties is pitching a major makeover for a small park at the heart of its Crystal City holdings, envisioning some new retail and even a bar atop a water feature. The developer filed plans with Arlington County earlier this month requesting an additional 6,100 square feet of density for the 1.6-acre park, located across the street from JBG Smith’s massive ‘Central District’ project at 1770 Crystal Drive.” [Washington Business Journal, Twitter]
Vote By Mail Facts — “The first round of vote-by-mail ballots have been sent to people who requested them, but it’s not too late to request yours. Ballot applications must be received by 5 p.m. on Oct. 23. To help you understand how voting by mail works — and feel confident in submitting your ballot — we’ve broken down the facts you need to know.” [Arlington County]
Deer Rescued from Country Club Fence — “On Tuesday night, a curious fawn tried to get through a metal fence in the Washington Golf and Country Club. Unfortunately her adventurous plan backfired, and the fawn ended up stuck and stranded. The country club called animal control, which is under the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, and that’s when Officer Shannon Rose sprung to action.” [Washingtonian]
Weekday Afternoon Robbery in Ballston — “At approximately 4:21 p.m. on September 23, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect entered a business, approached the front counter, and passed the employee a note demanding money and threatening them if they didn’t comply. The victim complied, and the suspect stole an undisclosed amount of cash, then fled on foot prior to police arrival.” [Arlington County]
National Landing Food Program Extended — “Thanks to generous support from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), Amazon, JBG SMITH, Equity Residential and individual Arlington residents, the National Landing Business Improvement District (BID) announced today that its Farm-to-Families food assistance program will be extended through the fall.” [Press Release]
Addiction Recovery Org Rebrands — “The name will change but the mission will remain the same – working to help those struggling with addiction turn their lives around. Phoenix House Mid-Atlantic announced Sept. 16 that it would change its name to National Capital Treatment and Recovery, following its split last year from the national Phoenix House organization.” [InsideNova]
Karantonis, an economist and the former director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, captured 62.4% of the vote. He overperformed among absentee ballots, with 71% of the more than 10,000 absentee ballots cast amid the pandemic.
Susan Cunningham, who described herself as a “progressive Independent,” received 32.6% of the vote. A civically-involved professional and mother of two, Cunningham was endorsed in the race by John Vihstadt, the last non-Democrat to win a seat on the County Board.
Republican Bob Cambridge, a former CIA instructor, received 4.8% of the vote.
In all, 19,866 votes were cast — a turnout of 12.6% of the Arlington electorate. That’s below the 22,264 votes tallied in the 2014 special election, in which Vihstadt first won his seat on the Board.
Besides taking place during a pandemic, today’s election was also hampered by a relatively short campaigning period, and an election day just after the Fourth of July. Karantonis won the Democratic nomination in a closed caucus of about 250 local Democratic party insiders, as the party decried not having enough time to organize a broader primary or caucus.
Karantonis’ initial term on the Board will run through Dec. 31, 2021.
In a press release issued by the Arlington County Democratic Committee, Karantonis pledges “true progressive policies and effective leadership.”
“Arlington voters responded overwhelmingly to Takis’ positive, issues-oriented campaign, surmounting the unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus to elect an experienced leader to the County Board,” Arlington Democrats Chair Jill Caiazzo said. “Takis will be a leader for all Arlingtonians. He has the expertise and empathy to build on the impressive legacy of Erik Gutshall. We know he’ll serve Arlington well.”
During the campaign, Karantonis touted his status as an immigrant as a reason he’ll be particularly effective during these fraught times for the country. He has been a resident of Arlington for 14 years, currently living with his wife in the Arlington Village neighborhood.
“As an immigrant and a first-time candidate, I did not expect to receive the overwhelming amount of support from Arlingtonians throughout every zip code in our county,” Karantonis said shortly after the election was called. “Our victory is meaningful for two specific reasons: it is the recognition of my many years of civic engagement in Arlington and it serves as a testament to Arlington voters’ expectation of true progressive policies and effective leadership.”
Karantonis previously served as executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, and now directs micro-lending for the Ethiopian Community Development Council, an Arlington-based nonprofit. He serves as vice chair of the Alliance for Housing Solutions, and previously was president of the Columbia Heights Civic Association and board chair of Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (now known as EcoAction Arlington). A native of Greece, Karantonis lived and worked in several European countries before immigrating to the United States. He speaks eight languages.
Cunningham, in a statement, thanked her opponents “for a spirited and hard-fought race” and wished Karantonis well on the County Board.
“Tonight I want to thank each and every voter in Arlington,” Cunningham said. “And I also want to thank my daughters and my husband, along with an incredible army of volunteers, who pulled out all the stops during a pandemic. This was always an uphill battle — not just against my opponents but also against an entrenched one-party system in Arlington… I truly hope we started some important conversations about the perils of one-party rule and the need for greater accountability.”
“I hope all of our elected officials will get serious about transparency, accountability, and improved School-County collaboration,” Cunningham concluded. “I have been deeply honored to meet and talk with so many Arlington residents. I look forward to many more discussions in the future.”
More on the turnout from the county elections office:
100% of precincts have reported.
~135 outstanding provisional ballots. 126 because voters issued Mail Ballot.
Turnout = 12.6%: 9,648 from Precincts, 10,294 Early + Mail. 52% of votes cast before Election Day. #ArlingtonHistory #VAIsForVoters
Until the next one #Countdown2020
— Arlington Elections (@ArlingtonVotes) July 8, 2020
Arlington has a long history of Special Elections for County Board. Here's a snapshot of turnout. It's still pretty quiet at our precincts with 1 hour left to vote. What's your prediction for total turnout today? #ElectionData #Elections pic.twitter.com/q2GeimOoQq
— Arlington Elections (@ArlingtonVotes) July 7, 2020
HQ2’s Employee Count Keeps Growing — “Amazon.com Inc.’s Arlington headquarters seems to get larger by the week. At latest count, there are just shy of 715 employees in leased office spaces in Crystal City and about 125 pending starts.” [Washington Business Journal]
MS-13 Members Plead Guilty to Shooting — “Two MS-13 members pleaded guilty today to their respective roles in a December 2018 shooting and stabbing that occurred in Four Mile Run Park on the border of Alexandria and Arlington. According to court documents, Juan Francisco Rivera-Pineda, 25, and Jefferson Noe Amaya, 24, both Alexandria residents… confronted the victim in the park, shooting him in the throat and arm, and stabbing him in the back. The victim was transported to the hospital where he underwent surgery and survived.” [USDOJ]
Pentagon Suspect Was Out on Bail — “Matthew Richardson, who is facing charges in Arlington, Va., after police say he tried to blow up a car in a Pentagon parking lot, was released from the Washington County jail in December after The Bail Project posted his bond.” [Arkansas Democrat Gazette]
Vaping Is Prevalent in Arlington Schools — “Sneaking doses from e-cigarettes or, ‘juuling,’ has emerged as ‘the No. 1 offender at Arlington Public Schools,’ according to substance abuse counselor Jenny Sexton, speaking at the Feb. 12 exploration of the hot topic at the Arlington Committee of 100… It’s a tricky discipline challenge, said Sexton, who is “stretched thin” counseling populations at 24 elementary schools and two Arlington middle schools.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Strong Primary Absentee Voting Turnout — “Former Arlington County, VA Treasurer Frank O’Leary: ‘A new record has been set in Arlington for absentee voting in a Presidential primary. In fact, over the last seven days an amazing 1,722 absentee votes have occurred – 61 percent in person.'” [Blue Virginia, Twitter]
Beyer Campaigning for Mayor Pete — “As Pete Buttigieg struggles for momentum going into the South Carolina Democratic primary and Super Tuesday, two members of Congress from the Washington region are traveling the country to promote his presidential campaign. Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.) were early endorsers of the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who they say has the personal story and calm demeanor to unite a nation divided by Donald Trump’s presidency.” [Washington Post]
The General Election next Tuesday, November 5 follows a tumultuous, pricey primary election in which incumbent prosecutor Theo Stamos lost to challenger Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, who is now unchallenged on the ballot after running a campaign centered on criminal justice reform.
Incumbent state Sen. Barbara Favola and Del. Alfonso Lopez both defeated their progressive challengers in the the June primary, and will be on the ballot. However, Lopez will now face a challenge to his bid for reelection from independent candidate Terry Modglin.
Del. Janet D. Howell, who ran unopposed in the primary, faces a challenge from Republican candidate Arthur G. Purves, who is focusing his campaign on what he describes as problems with progressive education.
Residents will also be casting their votes for two County Board seats — currently filled by Democratic members Christian Dorsey and Katie Cristol and contested by independent candidates, Audrey Clement and Arron O’Dell.
The ballot will also feature several other incumbent Democrats running unopposed including:
- Del. Patrick Hope
- Del. Mark Levine
- Del. Rip Sullivan
- Sheriff Beth Arthur
- Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy
- Treasurer Carla de la Pava
- School Board member Reid Goldstein
Today (Tuesday, October 29) also marks two important days for voters.
First up the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot be mailed to your address today at 5 p.m. Voters who want to request a mailed ballot can do so by emailing, faxing, or mailing Arlington’s Office of Elections (2100 Clarendon Blvd.)
Second is the start of absentee voting in-person, also at the Office of Elections, which runs from today until Thursday, October 31, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. Those interested in absentee voting must present a reason why they are unable to vote on Election Day.
Voters who cast their ballots in person will given the county’s newly-designed “I Voted” stickers.
Arlington Democrats will be holding a part get-out-the-vote, part pro-impeachment rally in Courthouse this weekend.
The event, organized by the Arlington County Democratic Committee, will feature a 13-foot “Baby Trump” balloon — billed as “similar to the ones that have attracted crowds across the country and in Europe” — as well as remarks by outspoken impeachment proponent Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.)
“Virginians have a beautiful, amazing, really unbelievable opportunity to show Trump that his time is nearly up: by voting bigly in this November’s election!” Arlington Democrats Chair Jill Caiazzo said in a press release (below). “In all seriousness, it’s time for people of conscience to stand up against this corrupt president and his Republican enablers — at our family-friendly rally in Arlington and at the polls across Virginia Nov. 5.”
The rally is happening at Courthouse Plaza, outside Arlington County government HQ (2100 Clarendon Blvd), starting at noon on Saturday. Attendees will be encouraged to vote absentee immediately after the rally.
The full Arlington Democrats press release is below.
A 13-foot “Baby Trump” balloon, similar to the ones that have attracted crowds across the country and in Europe, will dominate the stage at an Arlington County Democratic Committee (Arlington Dems) “Impeach Trump, Then Vote!” rally, at noon Saturday, Oct. 19, in Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood.
The rally will feature remarks by U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who represents Arlington and has been a strong proponent of Congress’ ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Beyer will be joined by the “Baby Trump” balloon, like the ones that have appeared at protests in Orlando, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, London, and elsewhere.
The rally will take place in the Metro-accessible Courthouse Plaza at 2100 Clarendon Blvd., which is adjacent to the Bozeman Government Center, where “absentee voting in person” is underway in Virginia’s critical Nov. 5 election. Rally attendees are encouraged to come prepared to vote absentee immediately after the rally. Absentee voting information, including eligibility criteria, is available on the Arlington Registrar’s website. For example, Arlington voters who work in DC are eligible to vote absentee and are encouraged to do so now to avoid Election Day logistical challenges.
Absentee voting in person is available at various hours Mondays-Saturdays until Nov. 5. It’s open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 19.
Virginia is the only state in the country in which Democrats are regarded as having a serious shot at flipping both houses of its legislature blue this year. Virginia Republicans now have only a two-seat majority in both the House of Delegates and the Senate. The state’s Democratic Party has mounted a formidable #RetakeTheMajority campaign to flip both houses blue, but success will require robust voter turnout between now and the Nov. 5 election.
“Virginians have a beautiful, amazing, really unbelievable opportunity to show Trump that his time is nearly up: by voting bigly in this November’s election!” Arlington Democrats Chair Jill Caiazzo said, mocking the loquacious, superlative-loving Trump. “In all seriousness, it’s time for people of conscience to stand up against this corrupt president and his Republican enablers–at our family-friendly rally in Arlington and at the polls across Virginia Nov. 5.”
Arlington County’s Election Board asked residents to vote on a new design for its 2019 “I Voted” sticker and they responded, picking the winner by a slim, two-vote margin.
Election officials, in partnership with the Arlington Artists Alliance and Arlington Public Library, solicited votes on the county website earlier this month. Voters cast their votes for five different designs over four rounds of voting.
John Musco’s design, “Shout It From the Skyline,” received 543 votes in the final round, edging out Anna Radjou’s “Voting, the Language of Arlington’s Diversity,” which received 541 votes.
The winning “Skyline” sticker will be distributed to voters who vote at the polls on Nov. 5.
Because the final voting was so close, election officials decided the second-place design will be given to voters who cast in-person absentee votes. Absentee voting for the November general election begins on Sept. 20.
Arlington first-grader Mira Shomali’s design, “The Arlington Stars and Stripes,” received an honorable mention. Her design will be adapted as a new Future Voter sticker, which will be given to kids accompanying their parents to the polls.
The county is currently in the run-up to a primary election, which decides the candidates for the November election.
Your vote DOES make a difference! Here are the Ranked Choice Voting results of our "I Voted" Sticker Contest. The winner won in the last round by just TWO votes. #votingcounts pic.twitter.com/kqcBiHFg9j
— Arlington Elections (@ArlingtonVotes) May 21, 2019
Images via Arlington County
(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Arlington voters seem ready to flood the polls in record numbers on Nov. 6, with early turnout numbers presaging a “blue wave” that could — potentially — wipe independent County Board member John Vihstadt out of office.
New figures compiled by the nonprofit Virginia Public Access Project show that the county has seen a 114 percent increase in the number of absentee ballots cast through Wednesday (Oct. 17), compared to the same time last year. The county’s surge to 4,236 ballots cast, compared to 1,976 a year ago, mirrors similarly boosts around the state.
While absentee voting can be an imperfect measure of Election Day enthusiasm, the numbers in Arlington are strong enough to convince some observers that the county could see huge turnout levels for the midterm elections. Former county treasurer Frank O’Leary, a close watcher of Arlington elections, projects that the current absentee numbers are robust enough that the county sees as many as 95,000 votes cast next month.
That figure would be higher than what the county might expect in a midterm election with a Senate seat on the ballot, without a heavily Democratic electorate itching to send a message to President Donald Trump. It would be close to 10,000 votes more than the 85,300 people who turned out for last year’s closely watched governor’s race that swept Democrat Ralph Northam into office with a hefty victory.
Given Arlington’s overwhelmingly blue political complexion, O’Leary expects “at greater levels of turnout, the blue tide will become increasingly the determining factor” in down-ballot races. That includes Vihstadt’s contest with Democratic challenger Matt de Ferranti, who is hoping to return the Board to unified Democratic control after Vihstadt won a pair of upset victories back in 2014.
O’Leary notes that turnout in the county was severely depressed six years ago, when Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) very nearly lost to Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrats took a beating nationwide, and he doesn’t expect those conditions to repeat themselves this time around.
The county lacks a competitive race in the 8th Congressional District, but with U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine up for re-election against Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, a politician disavowed by members of both parties for his frequent embrace of white nationalists and the Confederate flag, O’Leary expects that “an expanded electorate coupled with an odious opponent will net Tim Kaine more than 80 percent of the Arlington vote.”
While O’Leary notes that Vihstadt benefits from the “advantage of incumbency, name recognition, and the support of a number of prominent Democratic elected office holders and the benefit of a well-organized, highly-focused campaign,” he also expects that some of the galvanizing issues Vihstadt seized on in his 2014 bid — the Columbia Pike streetcar and “million-dollar bus stops” among them — aren’t as relevant this time around. It doesn’t help, either, that Vihstadt will have to contend with “a re-vamped (and equally determined) Democratic Party structure” and “the curse of ‘The Donald.'”
“In the event that total turnout exceeds 88,000 (with 75,000 or more votes cast in the County Board race), [Matt] de Ferranti will defeat John Vihstadt and win election to the County Board,” O’Leary predicted.
“Mr. Vihstadt starts with a proven base of 35,000, de Ferranti, perhaps 27,500. (That totals 62,500.) Thereafter, at greater levels of turnout, the blue tide will become increasingly the determining factor,” he explained.
Of course, Vihstadt has out-fundraised de Ferranti so far, and some Democrats remain concerned that the challenger has done little to separate himself from his opponent. For his part, the independent remains confident that he can once again shock the county’s political establishment this year.
“I was the underdog in 2014 and may be again this year,” Vihstadt told ARLnow. “I wasn’t supposed to win in the first place, but Arlingtonians proved that they are sophisticated voters. As I knock on doors across Arlington, people, regardless of partisanship at the federal and state levels, say they value the balance and independence that I bring to local government. I’m confident that my purple tugboat will survive the blue wave.”
Flickr pool photo via wolfkann
Virginia’s voter registration deadline is now just a few days away.
Any Virginia resident hoping to cast a ballot on Nov. 6 has until Monday (Oct. 15) to ensure they’re properly registered.
The state offers online voter registration in most cases, though anyone can also register by mail or at Arlington’s elections office, located at 2100 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 320. Registration applications are available there, and at most county libraries, schools, post offices, DMV locations, rec centers and more.
Anyone looking to vote absentee can register to do so through Oct. 30. Mailed-in ballots must be received by Nov. 6, or people can vote early at the county offices, a process known as “in-person absentee voting.”
The county headquarters at 2100 Clarendon Blvd is now open most days for anyone hoping to vote early, with full details available on the county’s website.
Sample ballots are also available online. Beyond high-profile races for Congress, including the U.S. Senate race and the contest for the 8th District, the ballot will include one County Board seat, one School Board seat, two constitutional questions and four bond referenda.