Former Governor and Senator George Allen and wife Susan arrive at their home voting precinct, Westgate, at the Washington Mill Elementary School.
Mount Vernon Beginning at 6 a.m. when the polls opened and the crush of voters choked the Washington Mill elementary school parking lot where voters stood waiting for the polls to open in the Republican stronghold Westgate precinct and ending a half day later in Democratic-leaning Kirkside precinct at the Hollin Meadows elementary school, it was clear that this Presidential election year had the potential to be like no other; large numbers of determined voters were willing to stand in long lines and ignore the near freezing temperatures to cast their votes for President, Congress and for or against complex state-wide amendments such as changing the Virginia Constitution regarding eminent domain property rights, and a number of local bond issues to finance stormwater systems affecting the flood-prone Huntington area, libraries, parks and public safety.
But the big national issues that dominated the Presidential election and divided the nation on how to solve the compelling economic issues of chronic unemployment, growing debt, and the partisan gridlock in Washington brought out a determined electorate that surprised even the most veteran local politician, Supervisor Gerald Hyland. Mount Vernon, with its diverse population and a growing senior population, appeared to mirror the national electorate. Everyone had a passionate opinion on what was best for the country and who should be granted the mantle of Presidential leadership for the next four years.