0
Votes

Great Falls Goes to Polls

Early voter turnout high in most locations.

Voters line up in front of the Great Falls Library Tuesday, Nov. 6 to cast their votes.

Voters line up in front of the Great Falls Library Tuesday, Nov. 6 to cast their votes. Photo by Alex McVeigh.

Every election day, Julius Zannetti of Great Falls gets his voting out of the way first thing in the morning. Zanetti, who works in the city, says doing it first thing, when he’s working on his morning cup of coffee, is the only way to go.

photo

Great Falls residents prepare to cast their vote Tuesday, Nov. 6 at the Great Falls Library. During last year’s presidential election, voter turnout in Fairfax County was 80.5 percent, significantly more than the lukewarm 53 percent of voters who turned out nationwide.

“I usually am one of the first people in the parking lot, at least, on the off years,” he said. “If I somehow didn’t know that this was a presidential election year, I would have known when I saw the line leading into the parking lot of the library.”

Cars filled the Great Falls Library parking lot for most of the morning, and the line stretched along the sidewalk during most of peak times, 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.

photo

Voters gather at the Great Falls Library the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 6 to vote.

“There have been people lined up here since we opened, and for the whole morning,” said election volunteer Henry Chadwick. “Four years ago, it was real busy in the morning, but tapered off during the rest of the day.”

While volunteers from both parties spent the day handing out sample ballots, not every voter chose straight along party lines.

“I collect a sample ballot from both parties, which always earns me a strange look,” said Beth Tewksbury of Great Falls. “I’m more interested in what each party says about the issues like the eminent domain and the veto session. I’ve asked around to some of my fellow voters, and that doesn’t seem to be in the thoughts of anyone, so I’m not sure how that’s going to turn out.”

Also present at several locations were members of Victory Counsel, a voter advocacy group. Volunteers were on hand throughout the day to answer any questions about identifications requirements and more.

“We’re here just to make people vote, no matter who it’s for,” said volunteer Stacey Jackson. “This is a cause that transcends Democrats and Republicans.”