2011 Election: Turnout Appears Low in Del Ray
Continuous coverage from polling places in and around Del Ray.
7 p.m. update — Polls are now closed.
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6:45 p.m. update — Here's a final look at voter turnout at three Del Ray area polling stations before they close at 7 p.m.
- At 6:24 p.m., 577 ballots had been cast at Cora Kelly Recreation Center. The precinct has 4,595 registered voters.
- At 6:14 p.m., 940 ballots had been cast at Mount Vernon Recreation Center. The precinct has 4,573 registered voters.
- At 6 p.m., 895 ballots had been cast at George Washington Middle School. The precinct has 3,922 registered voters.
It seems unlikely these three precincts will receive more than 30 percent turnout, which was what was projected.
What does this mean? Well, the state races in the East End of Alexandria (McGhee vs. Ebbin in the 30th District state Senate race, Englin running unopposed in the 45th District in the House of Delegates) are not as contested as the 39th District state Senate race in the West End between Republican Miller Baker and incumbent Democrat George Barker.
With such a heated race, more voters may turn out to the polls in the West End. This means the clerk of the Circuit Court race between Chris Marston and incumbent Ed Semonian might very well be determined in the West End.
Semonian said he would finish up is day visiting polling stations in the West End before returning to Del Ray in the evening for the Alexandria Democrats' shindig at Los Tios.
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5:20 p.m. update — A quick update on voter turnout from two area polling stations:
- At 4:20 p.m., 702 ballots had been cast at George Mason Elementary School. There are 2,827 registered voters in the precinct.
- At 4:30 p.m., 715 ballots had been cast at Maury Elementary School. The precinct has 3,010 registered voters.
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5 p.m. update — Jane Ring, who helped found the Commonwealth Republican Womens Club in 1961, was stumping for clerk candidate Chris Marston outside the polling station at George Mason Elementary School around 4:30 p.m.
Ring said she’s been impressed with Marston since he first became active in the Alexandria Republicans. Marston went on to chair of the party for six years.
“I have been a Republican activist [in Alexandria] for forever and two days,” she said. “Chris is a really good guy. He is just so smart. … [Current clerk] Ed [Semonian] is a very nice guy, but I really like Chris.”
Ring said she has worked quite a bit with Marston’s wife, Michelle, as well.
Ring’s husband, Connie, served on the Alexandria City Council from 1979 to 1988.
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4:55 p.m. update — Alexandria resident Kim Davis was collecting signatures outside the polling station at George Mason Elementary School to put former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney on the Virginia Republican Presidential primary ballot.
The primary is scheduled for March 6. Candidates need 20,000 signatures to get on the ballot, according to Davis.
Davis said she set out to help get her candidate on the ballot as soon as she decided Romney was her choice.
“What better time to get signatures than on election day?,” she said.
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3:45 p.m. update — Old Town Alexandria Patch Editor Sharon McLoone has visited polling stations at City Hall as well as Agudas Achim.
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3:40 p.m. update — Remember, polls are open in Alexandria until 7 p.m.
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2:15 p.m. update — Ed Semonian said he was enjoying the day talking to voters shortly before 1 p.m. at Mount Vernon Recreation Center.
The 77-year-old clerk of the Circuit Court is up for re-election. He is in a tightly contested race with Republican challenger Chris Marston, who wasn’t even in elementary school when Semonian was first elected in 1979.
“I was out doing things a good bit of the evening [last night],” Semonian said. “But I got plenty of sleep.”
Semonian was making his way through Del Ray around lunchtime. He said he planned on visiting polling locations in the West End in the afternoon and evening.
“You couldn’t ask for a better day to be working the polls out in the sun,” Semonian said.
Alexandria City School Board Chairman Sheryl Gorsuch was handing out Democratic sample ballots at Mount Vernon Rec when Semonian stopped by. Sheriff Dana Lawhorne was doing the same around 2 p.m. at George Washington Middle School.
Lawhorne, who endorsed Semonian in a letter to the editor last week, was asking voters heading into the polls to support the current clerk.
Marston, who was at Cora Kelly Recreation Center earlier in the day, said he hopes to make the court more customer friendly by making even more services available online and over the phone.
“It’s easy to say those things,” Lawhorne said of Marston’s platform. “The difficult thing is finding the funding. The hard part is running an efficient office with a budget. … As a fellow constitutional officer, I am constantly balancing city versus state funds.”
A Marston supporter carrying a campaign sign in front of George Washington Middle School declined to comment when asked why he was supporting the candidate.
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Noon update — For the quickest election updates in Del Ray, keep up with Del Ray Patch on Twitter.
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11:45 a.m. update — Nancy Rowe, a resident of the North Ridge neighborhood of Alexandria and a former officer in the Del Ray Citizens Association, is supporting Adam Ebbin in Tuesday's election for the 30th District state Senate seat. She was handing out campaign literature in support of the Democrat at George Mason Elementary School.
Ebbin, a former member of the House of Delegates, is facing Republican Tim McGhee, a church administrator who has never run for office before.
"Adam just does a wonderful job," Rowe said. "He was out guy in the House of Delegates and did a great job. I support everthing he stands for. ... He's an activist. I know him personally and he's very much a part of the community."
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11:30 a.m. update — Have you seen any of the candidates at the polling places this morning?
Del. David Englin (D-45th) visited several Del Ray locations this morning. Alexandria clerk of the Circuit Court candidate Chris Marston was reportedly at Cora Kelly for a bit. His mother was talking to voters at George Mason Elementary for a spell. No reports of 30th District state Senate candidates Adam Ebbin or Tim McGhee in Del Ray thus far.
Let us know if you've seen any of the candidates in the comments section.
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11:15 a.m. update — Here’s a look at voter turnout thus far in the Del Ray area:
- At 11:05 a.m., 455 ballots had been cast at George Washington Middle School. The precinct has 3,922 registered voters.
- At 10:48 a.m., 398 ballots had been cast at Mount Vernon Recreation Center. The precinct has 4,573 registered voters.
- At 10:26 a.m., 383 ballots had been cast at George Mason Elementary School. There are 2,827 registered voters in the precinct.
- At 10:05 a.m., 201 ballots had been cast at Cora Kelly Recreation Center. The precinct has 4,595 registered voters.
Stephen Glomb, who was overseeing balloting at George Mason, was pleased with turnout.
“You always wish it were more, but 13 percent [at 10:26 a.m.] is not bad,” he said.
Sandra Rangel, who was overseeing Mount Vernon Rec, said turnout was “about what we expected.”
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11 a.m. update — For more information on the ballot and voting, check out our Del Ray voter's guide.
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Del. David Englin (D), who is running unopposed Tuesday in the 45th District, was shaking hands and handing out party ballots outside the polling place at George Washington Middle School around 8:30 a.m.
“It’s strange [to run unopposed],” said Englin, who has always had an opponent. “I’m used to having to fight for everything because I’ve never been the established favorite.”
Englin said he was going to head down to Mount Vernon Recreation Center and some of his other “new precincts” in South Arlington later in the morning.
Redistricting this year pushed the 45th District south. Del Ray used to contain the border between Englin’s 45th District and the 49th District seat held by Adam Ebbin (Ebbin is the Democratic nominee in Tuesday’s 30th District state Senate race). Now Englin represents all of Del Ray.
The 37-year-old Democrat said he was going to split his time in the evening between election return parties hosted by the Arlington Democrats and the Alexandria Democrats.
A polling representative inside George Washington said turnout was “pretty good” around 8:30 a.m.
If history is a guide, turnout may be around 30 percent in the area. The Washington Post reported Monday, "In 2007, the last similar election, just 30 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. In 2003, the number was 31 percent."
The GW PTA is holding a bake sale outside the polling place until 1 p.m. Many students helped bake items. Everything is just $1.
“We’ve received tremendous support,” PTA member Cathy Olson said. “We were receiving things until 10 p.m. last night and people keep bringing us things to sell this morning.”
Stay with Del Ray Patch for election coverage throughout the day.