Of course, I can’t tell you who they are voting for, but I can tell you vaguely where the earliest Ward 5 special election voters live.
Of the 1,763 voters who have either cast early ballots or requested absentee ballots, 45 percent live north of Newton Street — in high-turnout precincts in the Riggs Park, Michigan Park and Woodridge neighborhoods. Add in Fort Lincoln further southeast and that’s well over half the vote.
In three precincts — 67, 68, and 139 — more than 5 percent of registered voters have already turned out (with the caveat that not all absentee voters will return their ballots by election day).
That could be good news for Frank Wilds, who considers those neighborhoods his base. But Kenyan McDuffie is campaigning hard up there as well, trying to cut back on Wilds’s advantage. If he can come in a strong second, he should be well-situated ward-wide.
McDuffie’s base in the ward’s southwest corner — neighborhoods like Bloomingdale and Eckington, rich in new arrivals to the ward — are lagging behind those northerly hotbeds. Brookland precincts are doing slightly better, but southern neighborhoods like Ivy City, Trinidad and Carver-Langston — Kathy Henderson’s stronghold — are also lagging.
One exception: Turnout looks relatively strong in Precinct 72, in the Brentwood and Langdon neighborhoods, an area candidate Delano Hunter considers his base.
While it’s too late to request an absentee ballot, Ward 5 residents can visit early voting centers at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center (1100 Michigan Ave. NE) and One Judiciary Square (441 4th St. NW, Suite 250N) through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Election Day, May 15, precinct polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more info, check out the Board of Elections and Ethics.