Strong turnout pushes Loudoun into blue column
While few election problems were reported from the polls in 2012, almost 20,000 more voters showed up at polls than during the presidential race in 2008.
But instead of a stronger turnout, this number represents growth in the county.
In 2012, 159,202 voters cast ballots in Loudoun of the 210,392 registered voters. This 75.67 percent is certainly stronger than 2011’s 28.17 percent voter turnout for local races.
In 2012, the Mercer precinct in Dulles has the distinction of having the highest in-person voter turnout at 72.75 percent, while the Belmont Ridge precinct in Ashburn had the highest number of voters – 3,070.
District by district, Algonkian, Ashburn, Broad Run, Dulles, Leesburg and Sterling came in with more votes for Barack Obama, while western Loudoun districts Blue Ridge and Catoctin favored Mitt Romney. For the Senate race, the results were similar although Tim Kaine’s opponent George Allen won the Ashburn district by 10 votes.
The success of Kaine and Obama in Loudoun may surprise some political onlookers, who noted that in 2011, voters almost unanimously selected Republican representatives, ousting several Democrat and Independent incumbents.
The switch between a predominantly Republican outcome to a strongly Democratic one only adds to Loudoun’s placement as a swing county in Virginia.
Loudoun supports state constitution questions
This year, the Virginia General Assembly referred two questions to voters regarding changes to the state constitution.
The first question was regarding a relatively obscure housekeeping issue for the General Assembly. The question, which allows for the legislature to delay its veto meeting passed the state by 82.05 percent of the vote, with 99 percent of the statewide precincts reporting.
The veto session question passed in Loudoun with 104,178 voters for the measure and 45,487 against.
The slightly more controversial question added property rights to the state Bill of Rights and added protections against eminent domain abuse within the Virginia Constitution. It also prohibits jurisdictions to invoke eminent domain on a property and then referring it to a private property.
Questions on the issue centered on how the change increased protection against eminent domain abuse and how it would impact growth in the region. Voters overrode these concerns with 65.5 percent of Loudoun voters approving the measure. The question faired a little better statewide, winning by 74.5 percent.
Loudoun passes bond issues
Loudoun County found itself agreeable to the state constitutional questions and local bond issues submitted to them in 2012.
Locally, Loudoun voters approved two bond requests. The first, a $2,750,000 bond to finance fire equipment passed with a massive 79.13 percent approval.
The school bond also passed with a significant margin, 89,447 votes and 68.38 percent of the election voted in favor of the $136,150,000 bond. The money will be used to finance renovations at Loudoun Valley High School and the design and construction of an elementary school in Dulles South and the new Loudoun Valley Estates II High School.
Editor’s note: The numbers noted above refer to unofficial final totals, pending absentee and provisional ballots.