Record turnout in Arlington confirmed


In Arlington, people waited in line for two hours to vote in the 2012 election on November 6. (Michael Reynolds/EPA)

One of the reasons for those long lines that Arlingtonians encountered at polling places Tuesday was record voter turnout.

“Unofficial turnout hit a historic high of just under 118,000 voters, or 83 percent of the active registered voters,” County Registrar of Voter Linda Lindberg said in a prepared statement.  “The percentage turnout is slightly lower than our record of 85 percent in 1992, when 83,132 Arlingtonians cast ballots.”

The last Arlington voter finished his or her ballot about 9 p.m., two hours after the polls closed. It was worse in other parts of Virginia; voters waited so long to cast ballots that the state delayed releasing results. Absentee and provisional votes are still being tabulated.

Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey (D) won all 52 precincts, dominating Republican Matt Wavro and Green Audrey Clement with 58 percent of the vote. Wavro got 28 percent and Clement received just over 12 percent. Garvey, who won a primary and a special election earlier this year to fill the nine-month unexpired term of now-state Sen. Barbara Favola, has four years to go before her next election cycle.

Arlington voters also approved all four bond measures, which will allow the county to raise $153 million for a variety of capital expenditures. The voters most strongly supported the measures to pay for schools and transportation; they were less supportive of a proposal to pay for parks, including a new indoor aquatics center. But even that measure passed with 61 percent of the vote.

The County Board is already set to move on several of those initiatives, having passed preliminary measures that will allow it to start the process to finance the work right away.

Patricia Sullivan seeks out news about Alexandria and Arlington County for the Washington Post.
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