Clarke County Voter Turnout Appears Strong for Mid-Term Election

Voter Turnout Heavier Than Expected in Clarke County, Virginia.

When Election Day 2010 is over it may be hard to determine whether the clear sunny skies or voter backlash was responsible for what so far appears to be a strong turnout. As of 3:00 pm today voting activity appears stronger than expected for a normal mid-term election.

(l-r) Berryville residents Kathy Hansen, Jessica Ross and Mark Tate discuss politics - Photo Edward Leonard

Pine Grove precinct voting station poll workers said that activity throughout the day had been busy and appeared to be running ahead of previous mid-term elections.

“We’ve been busy most of the day,” said one poll volunteer.

Pine Grove voters cast their ballots at the Blue Ridge Fire Company hall in Shenandoah Retreat.

At Russell precinct voting station in the Clarke County Recreation Center in Chet Hobert Park, Republican Party volunteers distributing sample ballot literature to interested voters also said that voting activity seemed stronger than in past mid-terms.

“Voting has been pretty brisk all day,” said Republican Paul Loveless. “We’ve heard that 30% of Berryville had already voted by noon.”

Loveless said that if the 30% participation rate is correct, final voter turnout for the day may reach as high as 50%.

Berryville voter, Andrew Nicholson emerged from the voting booth at 4:00 pm. “I was 582nd voter today,” Nicholson said.

While adult voting appeared to be strong, many younger voters were also practicing their future democratic responsibilities through the “Kids Vote” Program.

Clarke County High School junior, Benjamin Martin was managing the youth voting activity for the Russell District. Martin said that he had had 77 ballots cast by 4:00 pm.

CCHS junior Benjamin Martin manages Kids Voting both for Russell District in Berryville, Virginia - Photo Edward Leonard

“I’m volunteering just because I want to help out and because I believe that voting is important,” Martin said. “Everyone needs to do their part by voting so that our country can be run the way it needs to be run.”

Martin, an International Baccalaureate program participant, said that, so far, he has had a general introduction to U.S. Government in school but is looking forward to a more in-depth analysis of the Constitution in his senior year.

As Johnson Williams Middle School 6th grader, Jessica Ross and her mother Kathy Hansen stopped to speak with Republican Party volunteer, Mark Tate before entering the polling place, Ross said that she was looking forward to voting on the kid’s ballot when she got inside.

“Voting is important order to the people of the United States in order to keep things fair and to keep the government from deciding things for us,” Ross said with a grin of anticipation.

Local democracy can be practiced at your Clarke County polling place until 7:00 pm EST tonight.

Youngsters practice voting on a computer ballot identical to actual ballot - Photo Edward Leonard