Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We Done Voted

After all that posting the last couple days on early voting results around the country, the Curmudgeon decided it was time get up off his keister and cast an early ballot himself.

So today we went down to Arlington County's in-person absentee voter station (County Building, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Room 109--first floor) and cast our ballot. It was pretty simple--took about five minutes, which is a lot less time than it will take to stand in line on election day.

A number of County employees and volunteers were on hand to speed us through the process, and a steady trickle of voters was showing up while we were there. First, we filled out the absentee ballot form, which is quite simple. We checked off that we plan to be out of the County on personal business on election day (we figured we'd go out to the golf course, in Loudoun County). If you work in the District, or just plan a trip to Tysons, or Falls Church--anywhere outside tiny Arlington--on election day, then you're qualified to vote absentee.

After filling out the form, we showed an i.d. Someone checked us out in a computer and then we were offered the option of either voting on a paper ballot or on one of four electronic voting machines there on site.

Significantly, the Curmudgeon was the 5608th voter so far to vote at this particular site. One of the election officials told us they had also mailed out another 8000-10,000 absentee ballots to those who'd requested them.

Our guess, then, is that somewhere between 15,000-20,000 Arlingtonians will vote absentee this time around (we're projecting that another 5000-6000 will vote in-person before the deadline at the end of this month). That's not bad, considering that approximately 95,000 Arlingtonians voted in the 2004 presidential race. It means that lines on election day should be somewhat smaller, although it would be terrific if more like 30% of Arlingtonians took advantage of the early voting.

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