Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Turnout Looks Brisk, Despite Weather

Despite the rainy skies and early morning thunder, people have turned out to vote in the Democratic primary today, saying that it was their duties as citizens or that in a small-turnout primary their votes really matter.

Zelmira McCann, at the Buckingham precinct, said she voted for Miles Grant and Terry McAuliffe. (Click to enlarge the image.)

At 9:15 this morning, about 112 people had voted at the Buckingham precinct and 166 had voted at Arlington Forest. The primaries last year--the one which John McCain and Barack Obama won--had a turnout of about 1100 voters on the day (Democrat and Republican) at the Buckingham precinct, or just shy of 100 an hour on average, compared to about 60 an hour above. Voters of any party can vote in Virginia primaries, so there is no way to tell if the voters are only Democrats. Neither the Republican nor the Green parties are holding primaries in Arlington this year.

No clear winner is stepping forward in the 47th seat in the House of Delegates race if a handful of interviews at the Buckingham and Arlington Forest precincts are any indication.

Patrick Hope and Miles Grant seem to be the favorites in these neighborhoods, but Andres Tobar also was mentioned. No one spoken with mentioned Alan Howze. Adam Parkhomenko was often cast as the person chosen not to vote for because of his age and inexperience. At the same time people were quick to say that Mr. Parkhomenko was a hard worker.

Generally, people said they found all five candidates in the House race to be OK and had a hard time picking the one to vote for. Sara Ellen Swatt, of Buckingham said she would have liked to have seen a woman run for the House of Delegates and blamed the party for not having a strong feeder system to get women into the position to run.

Khyati Desai, at the Buckingham precinct, said she voted for Patrick Hope and Brian Moran. (Click to enlarge the image.)

Stephen Goldman was 15 minutes into his commute when he saw a person holding an campaign sign and remembered that he had to vote, so he turned around to get back to his Arlington Forest precinct.

He said that during the campaign he asked three House candidates--the three who stopped at his door--to explain how they were different from each other, and was a little disappointed to find their answers "evasive," he said. "But I voted anyway."

The number of people interviewed was much too small to make any of this accurate beyond anecdote.

Zelmira McCann at the Buckingham Precinct, said she came out to vote to “keep the ball rolling with Democrats” who have had major victories in statewide elections in recent years. She chose Terry McAuliffe for governor and Miles Grant for the House of Delegates, she said.

“He’s the ‘Green Party’ type,” she said of Mr. Grant, adding that she’s trying to go green herself.

Khyati Desai, also at Buckingham, said she went with Brian Moran for governor and Patrick Hope for House of Delegates saying that Mr. Hope has made service in the community a career. She said its best to be engaged in the process early, so she made sure to vote in the primary.

A couple blocks away at the Arlington Forest precinct, Anne Fullerton said if she were a “single-issue voter” that issue would be immigration, so she cast a ballot for Andres Tobar, who is also a friend of hers from church.

Jackie Kramer, at Buckingham, voted for Patrick Hope in the House race; she had helped Mr. Hope campaign, and has been active in other campaigns in past years. She voted for Creigh Deeds in the three-way primary for governor.

“He’s in the best position to win,” she said. Much of her decision to vote for Mr. Deeds was based on the idea that Mr. Moran is too liberal to beat Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate for governor. Republicans will not be able to paint Mr. Deeds as a liberal--"He's not a liberal," she said.

“We love Brian, personally, he’s our guy. But it’s really a question of who can win.”

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