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November 6, 2018

Despite weather, early Fauquier voting strong

I would say the turnout is double for a midterm at this point. This is more like a presidential election to me. It has not had a lull.
— Courthouse Precinct Chief Election Official Eric Maybach
General Election
• When: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6

• Where: 20 Fauquier polling places

• On the ballot: U.S. Senate seat, 1st and 5th District U.S. House of Representatives seats and two proposed amendments to Virginia Constitution.

• Registered voters: 50,888

• More information: Click here
Like two dozen others in line before dawn at Our Saviour Lutheran Church just north of Warrenton, the dialysis center manager delayed his commute to vote Tuesday.

“I’m always one of the first ones here, usually in the first three,” Ahmond Hill, 39, said from the front of the line.

“It’s our civic duty,” Mr. Hill said before heading for work in D.C.

At 6 a.m., midterm election voting began across Virginia — including Fauquier’s 20 precincts.

All over the county, early turnout seemed heavy with thousands among Fauquier’s 50,888 voters headed to the polls. And, more than 2,000 already had cast absentee ballots.

Inside the Lutheran Church social hall, precinct Chief Election Official Steve Browning and his nine colleagues suddenly faced a challenge.

The third ballot cast got stuck in the electronic scanner that tallies each vote.

But, Mr. Browning and fellow Election Official John Toler cleared the jam in a couple of minutes as well-dressed commuters waited patiently before sliding their ballots into the machine before heading for the rain-slickened road, shrouded in fog.

At The Plains Precinct, 33 voters stood in line when the Grace Episcopal Church Parish Hall door opened at 6 p.m., Chief Election Official Connie Chintall said.

At the Courthouse Precinct in Warrenton, voting started quickly.

“I would say the turnout is double for a midterm at this point,” precinct Chief Election Official Eric Maybach said. “This is more like a presidential election to me. It has not had a lull.”

By 9:40 a.m., 621 of the precinct’s 3,637 voters had cast ballots in the Warrenton Presbyterian Church basement.

“It’s huge,” Airlie Precinct Chief Election Officials Ben McCartney said of the poll’s turnout as of 10 a.m. “We had over 240 absentee ballots before we opened today. . . . Steady all morning. The rain hasn’t deterred anyone.”

By 10 a.m., 554 voters had cast ballots, Mr. McCartney said. That represents 20.4 percent of the precinct’s 2,027 voters.

At the Catlett Precinct, 31 voters stood in line before the doors opened at Southeastern Alternative School, according to Chief Election Officer Dan Stell.

In the first three hours, 390 Catlett voters cast ballots.

In Marshall, voting moved back to the new Ruritan building on Salem Avenue. He and fellow election officials had to scramble before 5 a.m. to figure out the outside lights, controlled by a timer, said Bill Hines. But, they got set up in plenty of time.

The polls will remain open until 7 p.m.

In the last “midterm” elections four years ago, 43 percent of Fauquier’s registered voters cast ballots.

This year’s turnout should exceed that.

Virginia law requires a voter to present an acceptable photo ID when voting in-person.  For a list of acceptable forms of photo identification, or to find out how to obtain a free Virginia Voter Photo ID Card, visit  Voters can also find information about the upcoming election and check their registration status on the site.

The candidates:

U.S. Senate
Tim Kaine (D)*
Corey Stewart (R)

5th House District
Leslie Cockburn (D)
Denver Riggleman (R)

1st District
Vangie Williams (D)
Rob Wittman (R)*

* Incumbent

The 1st District includes the Fauquier precincts of Bealeton, Catlett, Lois and Morrisville.

The 5th District covers the rest of Fauquier, the precincts of Airlie, Baldwin Ridge, Broad Run, Casanova, Courthouse, Kettle Run, Leeds, Marshall, New Baltimore, Opal, Remington, Springs Valley, The Plains, Warrenton, Waterloo, and Vint Hill.

Fauquier Polling Places — N... by on Scribd

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