November 7, 2006
Election Day is a day when voters get to decide the make-up of the government, and there are several key races in Virginia including the senate race and the marriage amendment.
The voters responded by turning out in big numbers. With a controversial same-sex marriage amendment on the ballot, and a highly publicized race for Virginia's seat in the senate; this election day was slated to have an impressive showing by voters.
"Everybody in ivy has an opinion, and everybody likes to share it and so everybody comes," said Sybil Mahanes who has been working the polls for 14 years.
Sybil Mahanes has been working the polls for 14 years, and said the lines had formed before she ever got into work at 6:00a.m. Tuesday.
"We got here about 5:45a.m. Tuesday. We had people at the door at 5:30a.m. Which they can't come in at 5:30a.m., so they were in at 6:00a.m.. We had a big flux of people coming in at 6:00a.m.," added Mahanes.
Not only did people take to the voting booths in large numbers, but this year the Ivy precinct alone had over 300 absentee ballots. That is a number 8 times the size of usual midterm elections.
"I think the high number of absentee ballots is probably people being more interested in this race and they know if there's any reason they may not vote on election day they're voting absentee and that's a good thing for the electorate," said Keith Drake of the Albemarle County Republicans.
Whatever the driving force is behind this year's voter turnout, both parties agree the strong numbers are encouraging.
"It's good to see that people are interested, you know win lose or draw its good to see an active electorate here in Albemarle County," added Drake.
There have been some reports of alleged voter intimidation and suppression in the commonwealth by people calling claiming to be with election officials.
A spokesperson for the state board of elections any communication from election officials will be in writing, and not to feel intimidated, or deceived by these impersonators.