0
Votes

Long Lines To Vote

Election officials report long lines and steady attendance on election day in Springfield.

Sandi Reddan was proud of democracy as she exited the polls on Tuesday.

The Springfield resident cast her vote with her husband Mike. As she headed away from Robert E. Lee High School, she was glowing at the many people she saw voting alongside her.

"It does my heart good. We all root for our guy, but when you walk in, you vote your conscience, and that's what makes this country great," she said.

Election Day in Springfield, like the rest of Fairfax County, meant long lines for voters, beginning early in the morning and continuing steadily throughout the day.

"We had people here at 5:10, we had a couple hundred before 6 o'clock. It hasn't stopped," said Dan Good, chief election officer at the Pioneer precinct, which had Lee as its polling place. "The workers are having a hard time taking a break."

Most poll workers reported lines early and steady throughout the day. Springfield voters had the opportunity to choose their candidate for president as well as U.S. representative in the 8th or 11th Congressional Districts. They also had the chance to vote on various county bonds and two amendments to the Virginia Constitution.

"We are totally amazed. I've never seen it like this," said Dolores Hawvermale of Springfield, who met her neighbor, Eddie Ann Mathewson, while at the polls. She reported having to wait close to 30 minutes and hadn't reached the front of the line yet. Some waits were more than an hour, at peak hours of the day.

"If anything, this race has generated a lot of excitement, and that's good," said Reddan.

POLL WORKERS said they had experienced few complaints from voters, and no significant disruptions to the process.

"People have patiently waited in line, they're good-natured," said Good. "Everybody's been very cooperative."

At Greenspring Village, residents turned out in droves in the first presidential election to take place in Greenspring's new precinct.

"I would say 99 percent of the people are knowledgeable of the amendments, the bonds and know what they want to do," said election official Abe Kramer.

He reported that the precinct had posted 400 absentee ballots prior to Election Day. As of 1 p.m. on Tuesday, 900 more had voted. His team of 12 volunteers had been working since 5 a.m.

"There's no time to sit down," he said.