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Votes

Editorial: As Sandy Rolls In, Still Plan to Vote

Variety of choices in political landscape.

Hurricane Sandy means that the week preceding the election will not be what we were expecting. This editorial is being written Sunday night, Oct. 28, as forecasters predict five inches of rain and 65-mile-per-hour winds over the next two days.

With some predicting that power could take a week or more to restore, we have to worry about the likely condition of the Eastern seaboard will be on Election Day, Nov. 6. Absentee voting in person had been cancelled for Monday, and most government offices were closed in anticipation of the storm. What will this mean for voter turnout, for access to voting places on Election Day?

We don't believe that there are significant numbers of undecided voters in Northern Virginia. There are voters who know who they would vote for if they did vote, but they might not be committed to voting if circumstances are difficult. The outcome of the national election, both who will be president and which party controls the U.S. Senate and by what margin, could depend on voter turnout in Virginia. Make a commitment to have your vote counted, no matter how many days you might be without electricity.

We are not endorsing candidates for elected office this year. We do recommend that voters support local bond questions.

Four years ago in the presidential election of 2008, there were 5,034,660 voters registered in Virginia, and 3,752,858 actually voted. On Oct. 3, Fairfax County reported 723,967 total voters registered. Arlington reported 163,919 total voters. Alexandria reported 104,947 registered voters.

At the top of the ticket, in addition to choosing a president and vice president, Virginians will choose a new U.S. senator. Tim Kaine (D), former governor will face George Allen (R), also former governor and former U.S. senator, to replace U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D) who is retiring from the Senate after a single term. Webb defeated George Allen six years ago. Connection coverage of the U.S. Senate race is available at http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/Election/National/Senate/

Two constitutional questions will appear on all Virginia ballots, one about the use of eminent domain and one about the timing of a particular session of the General Assembly to consider overriding vetoes by the governor of legislation that was passed by the assembly. See http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/webdocs/201211ConstitutionalAmendmentsPoster.pdf

Coverage of the eminent domain question in particular can be found at http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/Elections/

In the races for U.S. House of Representatives, it's worth noting that redistricting resulted in significant changes in Northern Virginia in terms of who your U.S. representative will be. Connection coverage of congressional races is available at http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/Election/National/Representatives

In the 8th District, incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D), seeking his 12th term since being elected in 1990, will face Patrick Murray (R), and two independent candidates, Janet Murphy and Jason Howell. The 8th district includes all of Alexandria and Arlington, plus parts of Fairfax County including Mount Vernon, Lorton and parts of McLean, Tysons and Falls Church.

For More Election Information

Arlington Board of Elections, 703-228-3456, http://www.arling..., 2100 Clarendon Blvd. Suite 320, Arlington, 22201; FAX 703-228-3659; email voters@arlingtonv...

State Board of Elections, 804 864-8901 Toll Free: 800 552-9745 FAX: 804 371-0194

email: info@sbe.virginia...

http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Voter_Information/Index.html

In Arlington, voters will choose one member of the County Board from three candidates: Libby Garvey (D), incumbent; Matt Wavro (R), and Audrey Clement (G). There are two candidates for two seats on the School Board: Noah Simon

And incumbent Emma Violand-Sanchez. Both Arlington boards are made up entirely of at-large members, so both races will appear on all Arlington ballots.

Arlington voters will also decide yes or no on four bond questions, whether to authorize raising $32 million for public schools, $28 million for community infrastructure, $50 million for local parks and recreation, and $32 million for Metro and transportation. http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/voterregistration/forms/Bonds2012ENG.pdf

There is more information on our website under http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/Elections/

Stay safe during the storm.