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Votes

Good Voter Turnout Anticipated

Officials expect many residents to vote on Election Day.

Although there are no presidential candidates on the ballot, town officials and local political activists say they expect a good turnout for the upcoming election.

"Vienna usually has a fairy good voting record," said Vienna town council member Albert Boudreau. "I expect a reasonable turnout of the vote. I wouldn't be surprised if we got 40 percent of people voting."

Voter turnout will be higher than usual for an off-year election because of several issues on the ballot, officials say. The park and recreation bond and the higher education bond will draw people, as well the referendum on the transportation tax.

Indeed, some predict that the transportation tax referendum, which increases the sales tax by one half-cent for northern Virginia transportation projects, will be the biggest draw for voters.

The referendum "says a lot of what the future of transportation will be for years to come," said Vienna major Jane Seeman. Her office has recently started receiving calls about the referendum. And like other Vienna citizens, she has received items in the mail about the transportation tax referendum.

"I'm getting more mail about the referendum than I am on the candidates," Seeman said.

While the Vienna turnout may be high, other areas in Fairfax County may not share voter enthusiasm. Vienna resident David Swink sits on the board of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance. He had called Chantilly residents to hear their opinions about the transportation tax.

"A lot of people seem unaware, uninterested," said Swink.

Swink's group, a grassroots organization against the tax, also says they're aiming for a good turnout. They've distributed flyers at Metro stations, and they've put up signs against the tax.

"Our point of view is that we're already taxed to death, and we've already paid for what we're buying," Swink said.

Swink's opponent on the issue, Jackie Madry-Taylor of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, says she hopes voter turnout will be high. As chair of the Hunter Mill district for the committee, she says people in her district will get out and vote.

Hunter Mill "is a politically sophisticated community," Taylor said.

Taylor said she supports the tax, and hopes others will do the same.

"It gives us an opportunity to decide how to spend our resources," Taylor said.

Regardless of how people will vote, Vienna town council member Maud Robinson says Vienna voters will perform their civic duty. The older members of the community will come out, as well as the many younger members who voted during the last town election, Robinson said.

"We are so lucky in this country to have the right to vote and express it," Robinson said.