Early Signs Suggest High Turnout in Loudoun
Both parties are confident in their candidates as voting moves along ‘smoothly.’
Early on there were no apparent hiccups with voting in Loudoun, but turnout appeared to be high.
“As far as I know, everything is going smoothly,” Brandi Brookhouse, Secretary of the Loudoun County Electoral Board, said around 9 a.m. “There are several precincts with high voter turnout and long lines.”
At the Stone Bridge precinct, it appeared to pay to choose a paper ballot because there were multiple machine to make selections on paper, but just one for electronic voting.
Leaders from both political parties were confident, although wary of a close race.
“It's going to be close for everyone but Frank Wolf,” said John Whitbeck, chairman of the 10th District Congressional Republican Committee in Virginia. “Gov. Romney and Gov. Allen have run very good grassroots campaigns.”
Despite Loudoun having chosen Obama in 2008, Whitbeck pointed out that in 2011, Republicans swept the Loudoun Board of Supervisors and took most seats representing Loudoun in the Virginia General Assembly.
“Considering the strong elections the Republican Party has had since 2009 I just don't see Loudoun and the 10th District all of sudden changing course,” he said. “I think all three of our Republican candidates will win and it will be close, but not super close."
Evan Macbeth, chairman of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee disagree.
“I think we’re going to win,” he said. “We have a lot of enthusiasm.”
McBeth also pointed to signs of high voter turnout, suggesting that benefits Democratic candidates. Brookhouse noted that county were processing 90-100 voters per half-hour on average this morning.
“That’s practically an iron law of politics,” Macbeth said, referring to the belief that higher turnout favors Democrats.
In the Russell Branch precinct, which votes at Ashburn Elementary School, Democratic precinct chair Phil Lo Presti said the morning voting rush was heavy.
"It's high turnout," he said, adding that he received a report that more than 800 people had voted by 9 a.m. there. Like McBeth, Lo Presti hoped the high turnout would help Democrats. "If we get 1,900, that'd be fantastic."
Check out Patch election coverage here.