Update: Old Town Alexandria Voters Keep Precincts Hopping
Steady streams of voters wend their way through Old Town neighborhoods.
Update 12:30 p.m.
Durant Center Chief Election Officer Judy Gyllensvaan said paper ballots were proving to be very popular with voters.
“We’re getting a lot of compliments from voters” as to how smoothly things are proceeding, she said. There are 24 voting stations at Durant thanks to the paper ballots, which helps expedite the voting process, said Gyllensvaan.
From about 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. there was a long line of voters queued on Cameron Street, but by 11 a.m. only a very short line.
Six people had elected to use the eSlate electronic voting machines by around 11 a.m. with about 1,450 votes cast in total at the scanners at Durant.
Gyllensvaan added that the majority of voters appeared knowledgeable about the local elections in addition to the national general election.
Voters queued up around City Hall on Tuesday morning to cast their vote in the federal, state and local elections.
By about 9 a.m., about 610 voters had cast their ballot along with 782 absentee ballots at the precinct in downtown Alexandria.
Chief Election Officer Jeff Herre said there had been no complaints of paper ballots this year and if anything, people expressed their support for them when considering that they would allow a paper trail should any of the races be very close.
"People appreciate a paper ballot when it comes to a recount," he said.
Herre added that he saw a good turnout on Tuesday, much better than during the Democratic primary in June, but "maybe less than 2008," he said. Herre said it was a tough call to make in comparing 2008 to 2012 in terms of voter turnout because the polling station had more volunteers and other assistance this time around.
Outside of City Hall, journalists, voters, party supporters and others braved the chilly weather.
Libertarian candidate Robert Kraus said among the voters had he spoken with Tuesday morning, "Old Town residents seem educated on all the issues" and many of them asked him his view on the city's waterfront plan. He opposes it. Kraus added that he was pleased to discover in conversation with voters and others that taxes and the budget were top priorities among constituents.
Voter station volunteer William Kurowski had taken on the role of "dog sitter" for residents while they voted.
"I think this is about the sixth dog I've entertained this morning," he said while holding on to the leash of a chocolate lab. "But it wouldn't really be Old Town without the dogs."
The Lyles-Crouch voting location had a line snaking down to Wilkes Street at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, but the flock of voters had thinned out by late morning.
The City of Alexandria is recommending that residents vote between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. if possible.