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by Chris Teale November 9, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

The 55 percent of registered voters who turned out to vote in Tuesday’s election was the highest percentage turnout in an non-presidential year since the early 1990s, according to figures from the county’s elections office.

It was the highest turnout in a gubernatorial election year in Arlington since 1993, when 56 percent of registered voters turned out as Republican George Allen triumphed over Democratic nominee and then-Attorney General Mary Sue Terry.

The county’s highest turnout in a governor election since 1958, the first year of reliable statistics, was in 1981 and 1989 when it hit 60 percent for both years.

(This year’s turnout did set a local record for highest number of votes cast in a gubernatorial election, thanks in part to population growth.)

Arlington County voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic ticket of Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax and Mark Herring for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, respectively.

Northam (D) took 68,315 votes in Arlington out of 1.4 million statewide, ahead of Republican Ed Gillespie with 16,160 in Arlington and 1.1 million across Virginia.

Fairfax garnered 66,687 votes in Arlington of 1.3 million statewide, ahead of state Sen. Jill Vogel’s 17,594 in the county and 1.2 million total. And Herring won re-election with 67,111 votes ahead of John Adams’ 17,366 votes, winning the statewide count with 1.3 million to Adams’ 1.2 million.

In an email to supporters on Wednesday morning, Arlington County Republican Committee chair Jim Presswood said that while the ticket suffered a “tough loss,” the GOP will be back in Virginia:

Our canvass operation was typically among the top three in the Commonwealth. We knocked over 10,000 doors last Saturday. You represented our party and our conservative values well.

Despite yesterday’s results, I am confident about our prospects over the longer term. The Democrats ran a campaign focused on what they are against. Their governing vision, however, simply won’t solve the problems facing our Commonwealth and country.

by Chris Teale November 7, 2017 at 3:50 pm 0

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is warning that some voters are receiving calls falsely telling them their polling place has changed.

In a tweet this afternoon, VDEM said these calls are false, and that registered voters can confirm their polling place online.

The Arlington County elections office said it estimated turnout of 40 percent today at the polls, plus another 8 percent of registered voters voting absentee. That represents a slight slowdown from the noon estimate, when turnout was at about 31 percent at the polls.

Arlington County registrar Linda Lindberg told ARLnow earlier that the arrival of steady rain slowed turnout somewhat. But it still means Arlington is well on track to beat the final turnout of 49 percent in 2013, when Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Plus, a break in the steadier rain is expected as Northern Virginia residents start to leave work.

Earlier today, the candidates in today’s election hit the streets, making their final pitches to voters as they headed to the polls.

Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey tweeted a photo of her meeting voters alongside Erik Gutshall, the Democratic nominee for an open County Board seat and her one-time primary opponent.

Gutshall also tweeted a photo alongside Arlington School Board Democratic endorsee Monique O’Grady, while fellow School Board candidate Alison Dough has rolled out yard signs made by her children to try and swing voters her way.

A few of my favorite signs hitting the roads today… art work courtesy of my children – even the baby added hand-art 💕

Posted by Alison Dough on Sunday, November 5, 2017

Independent County Board candidate Audrey Clement was out in the Fairlington neighborhood near the Abingdon precinct this morning, sporting a rain jacket and an umbrella while she greeted voters and passed out flyers.

On social media, Independent County Board candidate Charles McCullough shared photos of him out meeting voters across the county.

And Attorney General Mark Herring visited Arlington this morning as his bid for re-election entered its final hours. Herring tweeted a photo of him meeting potential voters at Bob & Edith’s Diner on Columbia Pike, also part of the 49th House District, where Del. Alfonso Lopez (D) has faced a challenge from Republican Adam Roosevelt.

by ARLnow.com November 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) Arlington County could today see record voter turnout for a gubernatorial election year.

As of noon, Arlington election officials were reporting approximately 31 percent turnout at the polls. Another 8 percent of registered voters had cast absentee ballots, bumping up the total, midway through election day, to nearly 40 percent.

That compares to a final turnout of 49 percent in 2013, when Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli. In 2005, the race between Tim Kaine and Jerry Kilgore resulted in 50.5 percent turnout in Arlington.

Despite a slowdown in the pace of voting with the arrival of steady rain in the area, Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg expects turnout will easily exceed that of 2013 today.

“We certainly expect that to be quite a bit higher, probably well over 50 percent,” she told ARLnow.com, crediting “increased interest in this year’s race and a boost in get-out-the-vote efforts among parties.”

That follows record turnout in Arlington during June’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam won the primary and today is facing off against Republican candidate Ed Gillespie in the race for governor.

Former Arlington County Treasurer and avid local election prognosticator Frank O’Leary last week predicted record turnout in Arlington for a non-presidential election, based on absentee voting. He said heavy turnout in Arlington could provide a big boost to Northam — even bigger than the boost Arlington gave to McAuliffe four year ago.

In that year, McAuliffe won Arlington by more than 33,000 votes. This year Northam should enjoy a local victory margin of 45,000 or more. Moreover, realize that in 2013 McAuliffe won by less than 57,000 statewide and the significance of Arlington in determining outcome in Virginia becomes apparent. But Arlington is not alone, and — as goes Arlington — so goes Alexandria and Falls Church and (to a lesser extent) Fairfax and Prince William.

True to that prediction, Alexandria so far is reporting higher-than-2013 turnout.

Lindberg said there have been no major problems reported at Arlington’s polling stations. Lines were typically no longer than 10 minutes this morning, despite the increase in turnout.

The biggest issue so far has been confusion over the Democratic sample ballot handed out by party volunteers outside of polling stations, said Lindberg. The sample ballot recommended a slightly different way of filling in the bubble on ballots than that recommended by election officials, prompting a post by a confused resident to a Nextdoor social network page, which in turn resulted in election officials getting inquiries from some concerned voters.

Either method of filling out the ballot is valid, Lindberg said.

by ARLnow.com November 7, 2017 at 8:30 am 0

Voting Now Underway — Voters in Virginia have started heading to the polls to vote in a number of local and statewide races, including the competitive, nationally-significant race for governor. In Arlington, races for County Board, School Board and the House of Delegates are on the ballot. [WAMU, InsideNova]

Arlington Man Loses 45 Lbs Hiking — An Arlington accountant, 27, took 5.5 months off of work to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. He lost 45 lbs in the process and was the subject of a magazine feature. [Washingtonian, People]

APS Pumps Brakes on Focus of New High School — “Arlington school officials are slowing down the process of determining an instructional focus of the planned mini-high school adjacent to Washington-Lee High School even as they move forward with repurposing the existing Arlington Education Center building to serve a student body expected to total between 500 to 600 students.” [InsideNova]

Props for Arlington’s Pet Decision — Arlington’s recent ban on “wild and exotic pets” struck the right balance between resident safety and pet owner rights, writes an Arlington pet advocate and a longtime pet care professional. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Mrs. Gemstone

by Katie Pyzyk October 2, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

In-person absentee voting for the Nov. 7 general election is taking place now and runs through Nov. 4. Mailed absentee ballots can be requested now as well.

Arlington residents can apply for an absentee ballot by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31. Mailed ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7 in order to be counted. The county cautions absentee voters to leave ample time for ballot delivery, considering that current first class mail delivery standards are two to five days.

In-person absentee voting is being held at the county’s Courthouse Plaza location (2100 Clarendon Blvd.) until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4. Times vary by day and are posted online.

A number of factors make residents eligible for absentee voting — either by mail or in-person — including illness or disability, being away from Arlington on election day, or working and commuting 11 of the 13 hours the polls are open on election day.

Residents who aren’t registered to vote can do so online, regardless of whether they prefer to vote absentee or on election day.

File photo

by Chris Teale July 11, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

A plan to host a polling place at a condo building in Crystal City has been nixed, but elections officials said they are confident of finding a new location before November.

County staff had planned to move the polling station for the Crystal City 006 Precinct to the Crystal Gateway condo building at 1300 Crystal Drive from Crystal Place (1801 Crystal Drive) in time for November’s elections.

But a staff report on various changes to voting locations ahead of the elections said the Crystal Gateway “no longer wishes” to host a polling place. Likewise, the report notes that Crystal Place “no longer wished” to do the same.

Arlingtonians will go to the polls to elect a Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General and local members of the Virginia House of Delegates, as well as representatives on the Arlington County Board and School Board.

Gretchen Reinemeyer, the county’s deputy director of elections, said the building “did not provide any information on why they would not like to be a polling place.” Crystal Gateway’s property manager and a spokesman for Equity Apartments, which owns both the Crystal Gateway and Crystal Place, did not return calls requesting comment.

Reinemeyer said staff is “in the process” of finding a new polling place for the precinct, and they are “optimistic that we will have a new location soon.” She said that when looking for new polling places, staff try and find county-owned buildings in the precinct first before assessing other options.

“If there is not a suitable county facility available, we look at other buildings used by the community that have a ground level meeting room such as churches or community rooms in apartment or condo buildings,” she said. “Once we find a location that we think will work, we begin negotiating with the management of the space.”

The County Board will vote on the proposed voting changes at its meeting Saturday (July 15). Also on the table is a change for the Rosslyn Precinct to move its voting place to the 1800 Oak Apartments from the soon-to-be-redeveloped Fire Station 10, and a technical change for the Virginia Highlands Precinct to reflect that votes are cast at the recently reopened Aurora Hills Community Center.

Photo via Google Maps.

by ARLnow.com June 14, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

A record number of votes were cast Tuesday in Arlington in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, according to the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated Tom Perriello 56-44 statewide and 62-38 in Arlington. According to the committee, a record 28,167 votes were cast in Arlington.

Northam will face Republican Ed Gillespie in November’s general election.

In a press release, excerpted below, ACDC said the turnout record “is proof that Democrats across Virginia — and especially in Arlington — will vote for progressive, Democratic candidates in November.”

The Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC) congratulates the winners of the Democratic Primaries across the Commonwealth of Virginia, and in particular Ralph Northam, who has secured the nomination for Governor and Justin Fairfax, who has secured the nomination for Lieutenant Governor.

Arlingtonians came out again in record numbers to participate in the Democratic primary this year: 28,167 votes strong is the highest gubernatorial primary turnout in Arlington’s history, and 25,717 votes strong is historically high turnout for the lieutenant gubernatorial primary. The surge of enthusiasm in our party is proof that Democrats across Virginia — and especially in Arlington — will vote for progressive, Democratic candidates in November.

Four years ago in the Commonwealth, women’s reproductive rights, the right to marriage equality, and progress on renewable energy were all at risk. But in the four years since we regained the Governor’s mansion, our Governor has stood up for Planned Parenthood, supported marriage equality, expanded access to voter registration and absentee voting, and strengthened protection for victims of domestic violence. The ACDC is committed to building upon these achievements by electing a Democratic ticket and helping elect more Democrats to the House of Delegates.

by ARLnow.com May 9, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

More on Proposed Rosslyn Residential Tower — As first reported by ARLnow.com, a residential tower is being proposed to replace the RCA office building in Rosslyn. A new preliminary site plan filing provides some additional details: it will be 24-story residential building with 407 units of both apartments and condos, plus some ground floor retail and three floors of underground parking. [Washington Business Journal]

Caucus Voting Starts Today — Voting in the Democratic caucus for County Board and School Board starts today. The first day of caucus voting will take place between 7-9 p.m. at Key Elementary School, followed by additional caucuses on May 11 and 13. ARLnow recently published “why you should vote for me” essays from each candidate. [Arlington Democrats]

Arlington Couple’s Soccer Devotion Recognized — A local couple “is among three finalists in the international family category for Bayern [Munich]’s Fan Awards, recognizing dedication to the fabled club.” Their devotion includes regular attendance Saturdays at Summers Restaurant in Courthouse for games, and holding up matching husband and wife jerseys following their 2015 nuptials. [Washington Post]

Scalia Son Is an Arlington Priest — Paul Scalia, the sixth child of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, is a Catholic priest who serves as Episcopal Vicar for Clergy — an assistant to the Bishop — in the Diocese of Arlington headquarters (200 N. Glebe Road). Scalia just released his first book and NBC 4 used the occasion to ask him about growing up in the Scalia household. [NBC Washington]

Nearby: Amazon Opening Store in Georgetown — Amazon.com will be opening one of its first brick-and-mortar retail stores in Georgetown, at 3040 M Street NW. It has existing physical bookstores in Seattle, Portland and San Diego. [Washington Post]

by ARLnow.com December 15, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Arlington County Police ACPD motorcycle

‘Pop-Up Hotel’ Opening in January — “WhyHotel” is the new name of a “pop-up hotel” in the Bartlett apartment building in Pentagon City. Starting in January, the hotel will offer 50 unleased, furnished apartments as hotel rooms. Although most of the building is leased, owner Vornado is experimenting with “WhyHotel” as a way to monetize new apartment buildings during the lease-up period. [Washington Business Journal]

School Board Responds to Student’s Letter — Arlington School Board Chair Nancy Van Doren has responded to an open letter published in the Washington-Lee Crossed Sabres student newspaper. The letter, which was widely shared across social media, took the school board to task for approving high school boundary refinements that were seemingly antithetical to APS’ diversity goals. Without addressing the diversity issue, Van Doren defended the process and encouraged students to participate in future high school boundary decisions. [PDF]

County Board Approves Polling Place Changes — The Arlington County Board on Tuesday approved a number of precinct and polling place changes, to take effect in time for next year’s elections. [Arlington County]

Memorial Bridge Worries — The deteriorating Memorial Bridge can’t handle heavy support traffic for the presidential inauguration next month, officials said in a briefing yesterday, according to reported Tom Sherwood. Such traffic will use the 14th Street Bridge instead. [Twitter]

Wreaths for Every Grave at Arlington Nat’l Cemetery — “Wreaths Across America announced Wednesday it has reached its goal to place about 245,000 wreaths in the cemetery ‘thanks to an outpouring of support.’ Earlier this week, the organization had said it was about 10,000 wreaths short of its goal.” [WTOP]

by ARLnow.com December 6, 2016 at 9:05 am 0

"PIE" sign (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Polling Place Changes in the Works — Thanks to population growth, Arlington may be adding new polling places in Clarendon and Pentagon City areas. A number of other polling place changes have also been proposed following the Nov. 8 election. [InsideNova]

A Tale of Two Bishops — The Diocese of Arlington’s retiring bishop, Paul Loverde, prioritized parishioners on the periphery, posits a profile. His incoming successor, Michael Burbidge, “hopes to heal division in society.” Burbidge is set to be installed today at a mass at Arlington’s St. Thomas More Cathedral. [Angelus News, Crux]

Shirlington Light-Up Night Cancelled — After being postponed last week, the Shirlington holiday light-up event rescheduled for tonight has been cancelled due to rain. [Facebook]

A Burial at Arlington — Arlington National Cemetery conducts nearly 7,000 burials per year. The recent burial of a Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe, was especially heart-wrenching. McEnroe, 30, was one of three Green Berets killed in a shooting outside an air base in Jordan, where they were reportedly training moderate Syrian rebels. [Stars and Stripes]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com December 2, 2016 at 10:50 am 0

Long exposure photo on Columbia Pike (Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards)

Arlington Tops Clinton Vote Margin List — Arlington County, which has the highest percentage of residents with a college degree of any jurisdiction in the U.S. with a population over 50,000, also had the highest increase in vote margin for Hillary Clinton vs. Barack Obama in 2012. Clinton’s margin of victory in Arlington this year was 20.3 points higher than Obama’s. [Five Thirty Eight]

O’Leary on Clinton’s Victory Margin — Former Arlington County treasurer (and noted local election prognosticator) Frank O’Leary says the increase in the Democratic victory margin in Arlington reflects “a profound belief in government, particularly the federal government as the means of fulfilling the objectives expressed in the Preamble to the Constitution.”

DCA Ranks Poorly for Flight Cancellations — Reagan National Airport is the eighth-worst airport in the country for flight cancellations around the holidays, according to a new set of rankings. [WTOP]

Arlington Seeks Secret Santas — Arlington County is looking for volunteers to “brighten the holiday season for some of Arlington’s most vulnerable residents by taking part in the County’s annual Secret Santa program.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

by ARLnow.com November 29, 2016 at 9:15 am 0

Arlington Cinema Drafthouse sign at night in the fall (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Official: No Voter Fraud in Arlington — On Sunday president-elect Donald Trump tweeted an accusation of “serious voter fraud” in several states, including Virginia. In response, Arlington’s top election official said there were no reports of voter fraud in the county, which Trump lost by a wide margin. “I want to see the evidence as to what the allegations are,” said Linda Lindberg. [WJLA, Fox 5]

County and APS Budget Forum — Arlington County and Arlington Public Schools will be holding a joint budget forum tomorrow (Wednesday) from 6-8 p.m. at Wakefield High School. “During this forum, participants will have the opportunity to share their priorities and ideas on the 2018 budget,” said a press release. [Arlington County]

Local College Student Dies — Nicole Orttung, a National Merit Scholar who graduated from Yorktown High School, died last Tuesday. Orttung was a student at Columbia University, where she was “known for her dedication to social justice and bright personality.” [Legacy]

Advice from a Still-Grieving Husband — Neal Lawson, whose wife Jennifer was killed by a passing dump truck while she was putting her toddler into a car seat, is still two-and-a-half years later, “managing his own loss and grief while balancing the emotional needs and daily schedules of his growing children.” He recently offered some advice for others dealing with profound loss. [Washington Post]

Donation from 9/11 5K — The annual Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K Race, which was held in September, helps to raise money for military and first responder charities. Among the donations from the race this year was a $21,000 donation to TAPS, which provides care to the survivors of fallen U.S. service members. [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com November 9, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

Michael Francis Burbidge (Photo via Twitter/Bishop Burbidge)In the wake of last night’s election, Arlington’s incoming bishop, Michael Burbidge, is calling for Americans to live in harmony and engage each other “in a civil and respectful manner.”

Bishop Burbidge issued the following statement Tuesday morning.

The democratic process in which we participated yesterday is one of our greatest blessings as a nation and the direct result of the precious gift of the freedom we have been given. We are now called to commend our new president and all other newly elected officials to God, that they may be guided by Our Lord as they prepare to take office and serve the common good of those entrusted to their care.

Regardless of who received our vote, now is the time to be reminded that the strength of our republic lies in our unity as fellow citizens and members of God’s holy family. Such relationships are the bedrock of our society and it is our sacred duty to foster them so that nothing divides us. When we live in such harmony, there will be true dialogue and the exchange of ideas will occur in a civil and respectful manner.

As Catholics, we are called to renew our commitments to bring our faith into the public arena and help shape public policies, especially with regard to the sacredness of human life at every moment; the dignity of each and every human person; the protection of religious freedom; the sanctity of marriage and family life; and the care of the poor and most needy in our midst. In this way, with God’s grace, we help to ensure that the next generation inherits a nation more civil, more ethical, and more devoted to achieving peace which is true and lasting.

Through the intercession of Mary, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States of America, may Our Lord Jesus continue to bless our country and guide us along the paths of authentic truth, liberty and justice, now and always.

by ARLnow.com November 9, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

Campaign signs outside of a polling station in FairlingtonA record number of votes were cast in Arlington last night, though overall turnout did not set a record.

“Unofficial turnout was a record high of 121,807 but because of population increases, that represents just 82 percent of our 148,154 registered voters, falling a little short of the 85 percent turnout record set in 1992,” said Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg.

That mirrors the 2012 election, in which numerical turnout set a record in Arlington but percentage-wise the turnout was just short of the record.

Voting at Fire Station 10Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey won re-election last night. Her swearing-in ceremony has not yet been scheduled but “will likely take place next month,” a county press release (below) noted.

Garvey applauded Arlington voters for approving all four bond issues on the ballot.

“On behalf of County leadership, I want to thank our residents for supporting every bond measure on the ballot, making that commitment to better, safer roads, parks, community centers, fire stations and schools in Arlington,” she said in a statement. “We will work hard to make sure these funds will be invested wisely and managed carefully as a public trust in our shared future.”

For additional election results, see our updated election coverage.

Arlington voters on Tuesday re-elected Libby Garvey to the County Board as she concludes her year as Board Chair. Garvey won 70.11 percent of ballots cast with 72,542 votes in the Nov. 8 election according to 100 percent of results posted this morning by the Virginia State Board of Elections.

Garvey was first elected to the Board in March 2012 in a special election to complete the term of now-state Senator Barbara Favola. Garvey won a full four-year term that fall and now has been re-elected to serve through 2020. Her current year-long role as Board Chair concludes next month with the job traditionally taken up by another member in the new year.

“Thank you Arlington voters for once again taking to the polls in such large numbers and for continuing to place your trust in me,” Garvey said. “Most importantly, on behalf of County leadership, I want to thank our residents for supporting every bond measure on the ballot, making that commitment to better, safer roads, parks, community centers, fire stations and schools in Arlington. We will work hard to make sure these funds will be invested wisely and managed carefully as a public trust in our shared future.”

All bond referenda approved

Voters approved all four bond referenda on the ballot, representing $315,775,000 in investment to fund transportation, infrastructure, parks and Arlington Public Schools projects.

The bond referenda were:

Metro and Transportation: $58.79 million (passed with 78 percent of the vote)

Projects include: Arlington’s share of Metro’s capital program, street paving, bridge renovations, bike and walking safety enhancements, streetlight maintenance and conversions, transportation system and signal upgrades and neighborhood curb and gutter improvements.

Local Parks and Recreation: $19.31 million (passed with 76 percent of the vote)

Projects include: Park maintenance, land acquisition and open space, trail modernization, improvement work for Jennie Dean Park and Tyrol Hills Park.

Community Infrastructure: $98.85 million (passed with 75 percent of the vote)

Projects include: Replacement of old Lubber Run Community Center building, underground parking to expand Lubber Run green space, ADA upgrades for Lubber Run courts and playground areas, parking deck for Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, increased neighborhood conservation support, facilities maintenance, Courthouse Complex renovations and infrastructure, Nauck Town Square and infrastructure, Barcroft gymnastics expansion, expanded childcare for County employees, critical systems infrastructure and replacement of Fire Station 8 facility.

Arlington Public Schools: $138.83 million (passed with 79 percent of the vote)

Projects include: an addition at the Stratford building to add 339 seats, the new school at the Wilson site to add an estimated 775 seats, renovation of the Career Center/Arlington Tech to add 300 seats, planning and design to build an additional 1300 secondary seats at locations to be determined, and HVAC, roofing and other infrastructure improvement projects at existing APS buildings.

 

by ARLnow.com November 9, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

"I Voted in Arlington" sticker on Election Day 2016 (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)So… last night happened.

While we were discussing the election from an Arlington perspective, a political earthquake of epic proportions was underway.

As the night wore on, what seemed unfathomable — based on polls, pundits and everything else — slowly became reality: Donald J. Trump was elected as the next president of the United States of America.

Last night we asked local elected officials and others — and we’ll be asking again today — what this means, exactly, for Arlington and for Virginia, which in the end voted for Hillary Clinton.

In the meantime, as you’re waking up this morning to the final election results, which of the following best describes your mood?

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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