WAMU 88.5 : News

Turnout Light For Elections In Fairfax County Tuesday

Play associated audio

Voters in parts of Virginia's Fairfax County will be heading to the polls Tuesday.

Residents of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna will select candidates for mayor and town council. At stake are issues close to home for residents in these Fairfax towns, including everything from transportation and public safety to sewer lines and garbage disposal.

The election for mayor of Herndon is the most hotly contested because of a challenge to the incumbent mayor's approach to growth and density related to the extension of the Silver Line.

Fairfax County Electoral Board Secretary Brian Schoeneman says turnout is expected to be very light.

"In the past, the average that we've seen is Vienna is about 5 percent. In Herndon and Clifton it ranges between 20 and 25 percent," he says.

At 10 a.m., after the morning rush hour, elections officials had 665 votes in Herndon, 434 in Vienna and 22 voters in Clifton. Polls will be open until 7 p.m.

May elections were once common across Virginia, until the General Assembly passed a bill in 2002 that allowed municipalities to move their elections to November.

University of Virginia Center for Politics analyst Geoff Skelley says moving local elections from May to November increases the ability of political parties to influence elections with the power of the sample ballot.

"Having all those elections all at the same time definitely creates, you know, check the box next to the party you prefer and not so much a focus on what's actually at stake in a local election," Skelley says.


A Star-Crossed 'Scientific Fact': The Story Of Vulcan, Planet That Never Was

For decades, astronomers believed there was another planet in our solar system, tucked just out of sight. Then Albert Einstein figured out it wasn't there. Author Thomas Levenson explains.

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.

2 Degrees In Paris: The Global Warming Set To Dominate Climate Conversation

As world leaders gather in Paris to talk about climate change, one phrase that will dominate conversations is "two degrees." Global leaders will discuss how to prevent global temperatures from warming by more than two degrees since the industrial revolution.

Payoffs For Prediction: Could Markets Help Identify Terrorism Risk?

In a terror prediction market, people would bet real money on the likelihood of attacks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about whether such a market could predict — and deter — attacks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.