A slow but steady stream of voters gave way to a bustling Stone Bridge High School.
Voters at the Ashburn polling place were greeted by incumbent candidate Thomas “Tag” Greason and state senator Dick Black.
Rather than hand out sample ballots, Greason took the time at Stone Bridge to greet and shake hands with everyone entering the school.
“It's nerve-wracking. But we feel like we've done a lot prep,” Greason said. “It's not about winning or losing now. At this point, candidates have already won or lost. Today is about saying hi and interacting with the voters.”
Greason will be at Eagle Ridge Middle School after about noon.
Laurie Penland, the Ashburn District chair for the Loudoun County Democratic Committee, was handing out sample ballots at Stone Bridge. She noted that while people have largely been positive, she had one incident early in the morning.
After Penland set up her sign for Terry McAuliffe, a man who was departing the precinct tore it out of the ground. When she asked for it back, the man shoved it in his trunk and drove off.
“I've never had someone steal a sign right in front of my face before,” Penland said.
Five questions with LCDC's Evan Macbeth 11:15 a.m.
Evan Macbeth, chair of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee, joined the Loudoun Times-Mirror to live stream a discussion with editor-in-chief John Geddie.
Please note that there are audio issues with this video.
Strong turnout at Algonkian and Harper Park
Update: 10:30 a.m.
While certainly not crowded, Algonkian Elementary School was seeing a steady stream of voters at 10 a.m. According to Precinct Chief Karen Pearson, 300 of the precinct’s 1,900 voters had already cast their ballot with no technical issues present.
One potential issue is the percentage of paper ballot stations versus electronic voting. With only one electronic voting machine, some voters excused themselves from the 3-4 person line to instead vote using the paper ballot. While not impacting the ability to vote, it may be a future issue for election officials when determining future investment in technology.
The picture was much the same at Harper Park Elementary School in Lansdowne.
Dan Whalen is one of the campaign workers at Harper Park having been volunteering for Republican candidates for 13 years. Calling the turnout even between Democrats and Republicans, he felt strongly that Attorney General Cuccinelli had run a stronger campaign.
“Aside from the negativeness of the campaign, Cuccinelli tried to focus on the positive things he’s been doing for the country,” said Whalen.
Obviously disagreeing with Whalen on the campaign, another polling place veteran Jo Ellen Keating did agree on the strong turnout at Harper Park.
Precinct Chief Audrey Wiggins verified that the precinct had had no Election Day technical problems and that turnout at approximately 10:30 a.m. was 629 voters out of 4,600 registered voters.
Turnout strong for East Lovettsville
Update: 10:20 a.m.
Volunteers Sharon Biggers (left) and Lisa Gillogly are settling into a long day of checking in voters at the Lovettsville Elementary School precinct. Gillogly said she arrived at the polling site at 5 a.m. this morning. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Andrew Sharbel
Despite a small setback, Lovettsville Elementary School has seen strong numbers come out to vote this morning.
"We had little problems with our electronic poll books, where they were not syncing properly, but we have worked around it," Precinct Chief Peter Coderre said. "Because of that problem, we had a bit of a back up, but we have seen 11 percent of our 2,232 registered voters already vote."
Coderre said the morning rush leveled off about 8:30 a.m., but they were still getting a steady number of voters coming in.
He added that turnout has been typical for a normal statewide election.
With the election expected to not draw a large amount of Virginia voters, Coderre felt it was a little too early to predict what final turnout would be like for his polling location.
After early issues, Lovettsville Community Center progressing smoothly
Update: 9:50 a.m.
After early connection problems with the ethernet connection and an early rush, Lovettsville Community Center is seeing their numbers fall due to the morning rush. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Andrew Sharbel
According to Precinct Chief Trish Harrington, the Lovettsville Community Center polling location saw problems right from the beginning.
"We were having problems with our connection and called the Electoral Board. We corrected the problem by resetting the system and we are running smoothly," Harrington said as of 8 a.m.
With 2,898 registered voters for her precinct, Harrington's morning rush was over by around 8:20 a.m. That stems from the morning commute.
"Everyone has to get on the MARC train, so we will have a few mothers come in during the afternoon and when the train returns in the evening we will have another rush around the closing of the polls," Harrington said.
She is expecting turnout to fall somewhere in the range of 30 to 50 percent of the registered voters.
Steuart Weller recovers after early snag
Update: 9:20 a.m.
Several of the precincts experienced some technical difficulties in the morning, Loudoun County's general registrar Judy Brown said.
At about 6:30 a.m., Ashburn's Steuart Weller Elementary School was one such location.
“There were some issues with the electronic poll books,” Brown explained. The problem was restricted to the check-in process.
The electronic polling booths, which are normally digitally connected to each other, had to be disconnected in order to rectify the problem. But it may have slightly delayed the check-in process.”
“There may have been a point where voters were getting a little impatient,” Brown said. “But the problem has been resolved. To my knowledge, there is at least one working poll book at every station.”
The last five elections
Update: 9 a.m.
Is Loudoun blue or red? The answer appears to be which year.
In 2012, Barack Obama won for the top of the ticket with 51.15% with an 80.37% turnout. Obama won 51.53% of the vote in Loudoun with Tim Kaine outperforming with 52.78% for his senate run and Republican Frank Wolf receiving 55.86% to be reelected to the House of Representatives.
The 2011 quadrennial election saw close to a Republican sweep for local and state legislature elections. For the state Senate, Republican Dick Black won with 56.96% percent and Jill Vogel won with 74.6% percent. Democrat Mark Herring won with 54.06% of the district vote with Barbara Favola winning 58.09%. Republicans won each of the House of Delegates seats up for election that year, along with each seat on the Loudoun Board of Supervisors and each of the constitutional offices (Sheriff, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue.
For 2010, only the House of Representatives were on the ballot and Republican Frank Wolf won with 62.86% of the vote.
The last governor’s race was in 2009 and saw a Republican sweep of the statewide offices. Bob McDonnell became governor with 58.61% of the vote, slightly outperforming Bill Bolling for Lieutenant Governor (56.51%) and Ken Cuccinelli for Attorney General (57.51%). The statewide Republicans actually performed slightly better in Loudoun with McDonnell breaking 60% with Loudoun voters. That year saw Tag Greason oust David Poisson in the 32nd District of the House of Delegates, winning with 57.47% of the vote and Jim LeMunyon ousting incumbent Chuck Caputo with 52.65%.
The year prior saw Barack Obama win 52.62% of the vote (53.66% in Loudoun) in Virginia to become president in 2008 with Mark Warner defeating Jim Gilmore with 65.03% of the vote. Republican Frank Wolf pulled 58.8% of the vote in his election campaign.
After quick early morning start, Lowes Island slows Update: 7:15 a.m.
Volunteers from both the Republican and Democrat parties pass out sample ballots to voters at the Lowes Island Elementary School precinct. Lowes Island saw its biggest turnout of the day thus far around 6:40 a.m. --Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Alanna Dvorak
After an early morning bustle at the polls at Lowes Island Elementary School in Sterling, voters continue to trick in slowly but surely.
According to precinct chief Michael Jones, about 90 people came into vote at about 6:40, the largest amount the precinct had seen at one time that morning.
“More people got here early last year,” Jones said, and he expects this year will be similar.
There are about 2,400 people in the Lowes Island Elementary School polling district , and the station received 1,300 blank ballots that morning, Jones said. Though volunteers were given high estimates of 50 percent, Jones feels the turnout will be closer to 30 or 35 percent.
Polls open 6 a.m.
The polls have opened in Loudoun County for the seven House of Delegates and three statewide elections. The Loudoun Times-Mirror's reporting staff will be live blogging from local precincts throughout the day with photos, text and videos.
Voter ID: All voters must provide acceptable identification at the polls. These include: Virginia voter’s registration card, Virginia driver’s license, military ID, government-issued ID, employer-issued photo ID card, concealed handgun permit, valid student ID from college or university in Virginia or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck with name and address of the voter. Those without ID will be provided with a provisional ballot.
Useful Numbers: Loudoun Registrar: 703-777-0380 Loudoun Board of Elections: 703-777-0548 Virginia Board of Elections: 804-864-8901
Check out the Loudoun Times-Mirror Voter's Guide for more information on each of the candidates, and to find your local polling place.
Remember to check in with the Times-Mirror throughout the day for up-to-the-minute updates and media coverage from polling places across Loudoun. To participate in ongoing discussion, comment below, “like” the Loudoun Times-Mirror on Facebook or use hashtag #LTMelection on Twitter.