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Liveblog: Election Day 2012 coverage

We’ve shut down our morning Liveblog for Election Day 2012 coverage. But we’ll be continuing to post updates through the final results here: http://www.loudountimes.com/index.php/news/article/liveblog_election_day_2012_afternoon_evening_coverage/

photoTimes-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny Danielle Rainwater, center, waits in a line that extends through the halls of Farmwell Station Middle School in Ashburn to vote. Debby Scozzie, left, said she is voting for Romney and Rainwater is voting for Obama. Around noon precinct chief David Austin said probably more than 1200 people had voted at the school.
photoTimes-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny Voters get checked in to vote at Farmwell Station Middle School in Ashburn around noon when the wait to the front of the line was about 30 minutes.

UPDATE: 1:30
By Alanna Dvorak, Times-Mirror Staff Writer

According to the Loudoun County Board of Elections registrar Judith Brown, as of yesterday, 13,756 people in Loudoun had completed in-person early voting. Additionally, of the 8,872 absentee ballots issued by mail and the 8,017 absentee ballots sent by email, 7,313 have been returned.

“A very good amount have been returned,” Brown said. “We’re trying to get them processed today.”

Brown also wants to remind both voters and poll workers that voter identification cards are an acceptable form of identification to vote.

“We’ve tried to make contact with the precincts that have told people they need a photo I.D. to vote,” Brown said. “They were told in training that a driver’s license or a voter card was an acceptable I.D. to vote.”

Brown hopes to have some results in by 8:00 p.m. tonight, but notes that it depends on how long the lines are when the polls close at 7:00. The Board of Elections has already begun preprocessing absentee ballots, but will have to hand-count nearly 700 emailed ballots. Moreover, the absentee ballots cannot formally be counted until after the polls close.

photoTimes-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny Anita Ragonese talks with election workers Krishan Batra, right, and Donald Knickerbocker before submitting her ballot to be counted at Farmwell Station Middle School in Ashburn. Knickerbocker said there has been solid traffic since about 10 a.m. In 2008 the line went around the building when the doors first opened, but “this is the most consistent voting we’ve ever seen at this precinct,” Knickerbocker said.

UPDATE: 1:15 p.m.
by Aaron Koepper, Times-Mirror Staff Writer

photoVoter Camilla Bria gives identifying information to a poll worker. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Aaron Koepper.

Voters are streaming into Emerick Elementary School in Purcellville as the early afternoon voting continues.

The precinct, split after 2008’s massive turnout, has seen 1,365 of 3,024 registered voters turn out as of noon, according to precinct chief Barbara Cockerill.

That represents more than a 40 percent turnout.

“It was really busy last election, so we split the precinct,” Cockerill said. “It’s been steady so far.”

Democrats and Republicans distributed sample ballots outside the elementary school.

Bill Gordon, a first-time Democratic volunteer, said he originally didn’t see the point in handing out the ballots.

“Usually when I vote I think ‘if you don’t know by now, what’s the point?’” Gordon said. “But it makes a difference in one vote, what the heck?”

Congressman Frank Wolf’s daughter, Virginia Max and his grandchildren stood in front of the elementary school handing out Republican sample ballots.

UPDATE: 11:45 a.m.
By Alanna Dvorak, Times-Mirror Staff Writer

Things at the East Lovettsville precinct at Lovettsville Elementary are running smoothly and steadily, according to precinct chief Peter Coderre.

Approximately 27 to 28 percent of of the East Lovettsville (Precinct 411) had reported to vote around 11:30 a.m., and Coderre anticipates 75 to 80 percent of the precinct will vote by the end of the day.

“This precinct generally has a higher turnout than other areas in Loudoun,” Coderre said.

Some voters had to be be rerouted after reporting to the wrong Lovettsville precinct.

“It seems to be a few people have had the wrong precinct number on their card,” Coderre said.

Diana Larson, who voted at Lovettsville Elementary, said that the economy was her chief concern when casting her ballot this year.

“You can’t do things in foreign countries if you can’t take care of things locally,” Larson said.

UPDATE: 11:30 a.m.
By Aaron Koepper, Times-Mirror Staff Writer

photoElection monitor Paul Gorey (left, back), employed by the Romney campaign, watches the election while volunteers Alexander Isom (left), Elizabeth Hoegg (middle) and assistant precinct chief Scott Williams (right) work the polls. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Aaron Koepper

Voters have streamed in slowly but in large numbers to Aldie United Methodist Church, where 417 of the precinct’s 1,023 registered voters turned out before 11 a.m, according volunteer precinct chief Jean Mothena.

“We’ve over 40 percent before 11 a.m.,” Mothena said. “We’ve never done that before. I can’t wait to see what it is at the end of the day.”

21 people were lined up to vote when the polls opened this morning, Mothena said.

Daniel Davies, the Republican Blue Ridge district chairman, was optimistic about his party’s chances in the traditionally conservative district.

“It’s looking good for the Republican side,” Davies said. “We’ve got 25 percent turnout in every precinct throughout the Blue Ridge.”

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m.
By John L. Geddie, Times-Mirror Staff Writer

At 10:30 a.m., the early morning bustle at the polls at Algonkian Elementary School in Sterling had slowed to a steady stream. According to poll chief Karen Pearson, Algonkian had already had approximately 700 votes cast out of the 1900 registered with at this particular poll.

Campaign volunteers outside reported wait times earlier in the day of 20-30 minutes.

There was a short delay for voters choosing to use the electronic machines rather than paper ballots. This precinct only has one electronic machine with seven paper ballot stations. Pearson reported no problems voting problems thus far.

Pearson, a veteran among election officers, has volunteered at the polls for the last six years. She was with the electoral boar for 10 additional years. While concerns regarding sufficient numbers of poll workers has been raised in prior years, Pearson said it has not been a problem this year.

For the past two years, a friend of Pearson’s son has volunteered alongside her at polls. “All the workers realized that they could get my attention if they yelled ‘mom.’”

UPDATE: 10 a.m.
By Alanna Dvorak, Times-Mirror Staff Writer

photoGeorge Allen shakes hands at Lowes Island Elementary. —Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Alanna Dvorak

U.S. Senate candidate George Allen stopped by Lowes Island Elementary School to greet voters and speak with campaign volunteers.

“We’re counting on you all in Loudoun County,” Allen told a small but attentive crowd. “Virginia is a pivotal state and Loudoun is a pivotal county.”

Allen stayed, chatted and took photos with voters for around thirty minutes before he headed off to Fairfax to greet more potential constituents.

Campaign volunteers noted that the morning at Lowes Island started out strong, with lines going down the hallways in the school. But as the work day has progressed, the amount of voters has declined.

“It’s been a steady stream,” said Lainyi Kniffen, who is distributing Republican sample ballots. “It started with a forty minute wait, then went to twenty and it’s moving pretty fast now.”

Volunteers feel that the amount of people has been par for the course and anticipate traffic picking up once again at the end of the work day.

UPDATE: 9:30 a.m.

John Whitbeck, Leesburg Attorney and chair of the 10th District Republican Committee, sent a note to party supporters with a message of thanks to campaign workers and final push for loyalists to get out the vote. “We are winning the battle on the ground and Gov. Romeny, Gov. Allen and Congressman Wolf’s message is resonating with voters,” said Whitbeck.

Whitbeck will be joining Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) at a results party this evening at the Holiday Inn Dulles in Sterling. Members of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee have announced plans to watch the returns at Palio’s of Leesburg restaurant.

UPDATE: 9 a.m.
By Andrew Sharbel, Times-Mirror Staff Writer

photoVolunteers at Frances Hazel Reid Elementary school check in voters in their precinct. Times-Mirror staff photo/Andrew Sharbel

At Frances Hazel Reid Elementary School, voters were winding down the sidewalk before the doors opened at 6 a.m.

Precinct Chief Richard Claar noted it was a very different turnout this election from four years ago.

“Comparing this to the last presidential election, we had probably 350 people out the last time, so when I opened the doors the line was all the way out in the parking lot,” Claar said. “When I opened the doors this time, they were all the way down the front sidewalk, so i am guessing there was about 120-130 people out there this morning waiting in line to vote. So this was a smaller number, but it has been really steady since and pretty constant. We probably have had 200 to 210 people vote already, but that is just a guess and I haven’t seen the numbers.”

Claar noted that some people have been reporting to the wrong precinct, but his officers have been pointing them in the right direction.

While there are many hot issues that have been discussed nationally during this election cycle, Leesburg resident Roberta Elgin noted there were several issues important to her than the others.

“I think the most pressing issues facing this country is the economy and keeping our military strong,” Elgin said.

UPDATE: 8:40 a.m.
The Kaine for Senate campaign reports that Tim Kaine and wife Anne Holton cast their ballots at the Hermitage Methodist Home in Richmond this morning. Kaine will spend his day meeting voters in the Richmond area today while Holton will be greeting voters in Arlington.

UPDATE: 7:30 a.m.
By Andrew Sharbel, Times-Mirror Staff Writer

Candidates and voters alike are braving the cold through the morning rush at Ida Lee Recreation Center.

Robert Merhaut, voting location chief, noted they have had a great turnout just an hour into this important election.

“I don’t have any exact numbers, but we are somewhere around more than 300 voters and we are just a hour and a half in so we have had a good turnout so far,” Merhaut said. “Everything seems to be running smoothly with the process as far as people handing in the ballots. We hope to continue the rest of the day like that as well.”

Leesburg Town Council candidates Jim Sisley and S. Ann Robinson are both braving the sub-freezing temperatures to greet voters this morning. Sisley has been out getting ready for today since 1 a.m. this morning.

“I am here at Ida Lee on what has turned out to be a beautiful day to vote. I have been shaking hands and answering questions anybody may have before they go in to vote,” Sisley said. “I will plan on visiting another voting location later this afternoon as well. This has been a really educational and intense last couple of days, but it has been a great process and I have met a lot of wonderful people. I just hope everyone comes out and votes.”

Robinson said things were going well for her so far and she will be taking a different tactic than Sisley.

“Things are going great so far and I am really enjoying meeting people out here. I am going to be flexible about which polling locations I am visiting today, but I will be here at Ida Lee for awhile,” Robinson said.

UPDATE: 7:10 a.m.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, himself preparing for a race for governor next year, issued the following statement about the importance of voting: “As Virginia enters into Election Day, I want to urge every voter from every county and city to exercise your precious right to vote.  In the attorney general’s office, we work diligently to preserve and protect that right. It’s important that today’s Virginians not take for granted the generations of sacrifice that have gone into delivering and preserving our right to choose the leaders of our own government.  Many people around the world are not so blessed.”

Even before voting began, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell distributed a last-minute push for Republican candidates through his Opportunity Virginia organization, saying “Mitt Romney and George Allen have worked across party lines for years. They have brought Democrats, Republicans and Independents together to get things done, help the private sector create jobs, and balance budgets. That’s the leadership we need in Washington. We need a new beginning. We need new ideas. We need the optimistic, positive, bold visions of Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and George Allen.”

POLLS OPEN: 6 a.m.
It’s 6 a.m. on Nov. 6, 2012, and polling places are are opening throughout Loudoun County.

While there is an election every year in Virginia, federal elections create an excitement as voters can finally make their choice for president, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Considered a swing county in an important swing state, Loudoun has played host several times these past months to the candidates. Here is a quick review:

*Gov. Mitt Romney (R), Wednesday, June 27. Click here for coverage.
*President Barack Obama, Thursday, Aug. 2. Click here for coverage.
*Mrs. Ann Romney, Friday, Sept. 7. Click here for coverage.
*Mrs. Michelle Obama, Tuesday, Oct. 9. Click here for coverage.
*Gov. Mitt Romney (R), Wednesday, Oct. 17. Click here for coverage.
*Mrs. Ann Romney, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. Click here for coverage.
*Vice President Joe Biden (D), Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. Click here for coverage.

Locally, Leesburg voters are selecting a mayor and three members of the town council. Two other towns are choosing town council members with two spots open in the Lovettsville special election and Hillsboro selecting its town council as well.

Check in throughout the day for news and interviews from polling places across Loudoun as well as news of any special events or incidents throughout the day. Liveblog coverage will continue until polls close at 7 p.m. with local results being reported as they become available. To join the discussion, “like” the Loudoun Times-Mirror on Facebook or use the hashtag “ltmelection” on Twitter.

For information on where your polling location is, click here.

For a look back at the Times-Mirror Liveblog coverage of Election Day 2011, click here or here.


When this is all over, I hope it can be explained why Loudoun took so long to report the absentee/early votes.  Seems they should have been collated and ready to go the second the polls closed.

Looked like heavy romney turnout in ashburn area this morning…

Thanks for using the word “Democratic” to describe the major party that isn’t Republican.  There’s some sort of weird tic that many on the right seem to have where they think they’ve scored a point by saying the “Democrat” party…and never the “Democratic” party.  Not sure why they think that’s clever but I’ve been noticing it more and more.

Sweet “Colbert” pose Matthew!

You need to correct your story.  Democrats and republicans outside the precincts are NOT handing out ballots.  That would be illegal.  They are handing out SAMPLE ballots, nothing official about those pieces of paper.

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