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Fairfax Gears Up for Election Day

The county has acquired 187 new electronic polling machines since 2008.

As the Democrats converge on Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention, the Fairfax County Office of Elections is preparing for Election Day.

Gary Scott, the county’s deputy registrar, said he and his office are ready for a busy day and long night when Nov. 6 gets here. Election office employees will be handling results from the county’s 237 polling places, 187 of which will be equipped with electronic polling machines this year, Scott said.

“The biggest improvement we’ve made is the use of electronic polling equipment,” he said. The county didn’t have the machines at its disposal in 2008 – the Commonwealth of Virginia made them available in 2009 – so Scott anticipates results will be easier to count.

But while the electronic machines will alleviate much of the burden, there will still be paper ballots to count – thousands of them, in fact.

“We’re going to have several thousand paper ballots that are going to have to be hand-counted,” he said.

The office of elections will have anywhere from 60 to 70 employees working on site throughout the evening. About 40 people will be working the phones at Fairfax County Government Center, taking calls from media, candidate parties and more.

And the county’s polling places will be overseen by more than 3,000 election officers, many of whom are still being recruited, Scott said.

According to a release on the county’s web site, the office has five employees under the age of 30, who will be working alongside many veteran employees who have been with the office for more than 10 years.

Scott said there was no way to anticipate voter turnout during elections, but that Fairfax County has been fairly consistent in the past.

“Typically, Fairfax County will have a 75 percent turnout for presidential elections,” said. About 78 percent of registered voters in the county came out to the polls in 2008.

Skip Endale September 05, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I would pay special attention to the poll watchers that the tea party plans to engage during the upcoming election cycle, watch out for illegally displayed signs, logos and intimidation tactics. Make sure you cast your vote properly - understand the distinction between a spoilt ballot and an invalid vote. And do not let your child use the electronic voting machine even though it may seem like fun and would actually make a good family photo. Just sayin,
Carlos in Reston September 05, 2012 at 06:40 PM
No one can cite a single incidence of intimidation or illegal activity by members of the Tea Party in their peaceful rallies held throughout the country. Yet, there have been literally thousands of arrests of participants in the OWS protests, in addition to a dozen rapes and many other crimes (http://www.owsexposed.com/). The Tea Party is a peaceful movement of law-abiding citizens who care about the future of the country and support constitutional principles of governance.
Uncle Smartypants September 05, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Here is a single incident I can cite: On March 16, 2010, at a Tea Party protest in front of the offices of Representative Mary Jo Kilroy, a counter-protester with Parkinson's disease was berated by Chris Reichert of Victorian Village, Ohio and had dollar bills thrown at him with additional protesters also mocking the individual. Reichert initially denied the incident, but later apologized for his "shameful" actions.
Skip Endale September 21, 2012 at 08:02 PM
The new voting machines are awful, be prepared to hit the VOTE button several times before you get to proceed to the next screen. Also, on the ballot you will find additional questions concerning FFX bonds and ballot measures http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/bond/ http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Virginia_2012_ballot_measures

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