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Prince William voter turnout up; new precincts remain on hold

Turnout was strong in Prince William County as voters braved the rain to cast their votes in the 2017 General Elections.

Almost half of Prince William County’s eligible voters went to the polls Nov. 7 to decide on the next governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and local House delegates.

A total of 122,612 votes were cast in the General Election, according to election officials. That equated to 45 percent of the county’s total 271,705 registered voters — an increase of 5.9 percent from the 2013 General Elections.

Despite Prince William County’s ongoing population growth and the increased participation by voters in an off-year election, election official reported no adverse effects.

“We saw no long lines this year and all of our precincts reported closed on time,”  Winston Forrest, the country’s election communications coordinator, said in an email.

A Potomac Local poll asked readers what issues were most important to them this election cycle.

Election officials have been seeking ways to offset long lines that have sometimes occurred at county polling places due to population growth, such as additional precincts.

The  Board of County Supervisors turned down a request earlier this year for a public hearing on the issue. But Forrest said potential changes remain on the table. “Yes, we are looking to add ten or so precincts next year,” he said. “A new request will be submitted to the Board of County Supervisors.”

Plans for where those new precincts could be located are undetermined. “We don’t have any information about the new precincts at this time,”  Michele White, the county’s director of elections and general registrar, said in an email.

The Board of Supervisors could once again take up the discussion next year.

Statewide, the Democratic candidates won all three top positions. In the governor’s race, Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie by a margin of 53.90 percent to 44.97 percent.  For lieutenant governor, Democrat Justin E. Fairfax  defeated Republican Jill Vogel by a margin of 52.72 percent to 47.18 percent. And in the race for attorney general, Democrat Mark R. Herring defeated Republican candidate John D. Adams by a margin of 53.34 percent to 46.56 percent.

Here’s a look at how Prince William County voted for statewide offices, according to Virginia’s Department of Elections:

  • Governor: Northam, 61.06 percent, over Gillespie’s 37.86 percent.
  • Lt. Governor: Fairfax, 60.61 percent, over Vogel’s 39.27 percent.
  • Attorney General: Herring, 60.47 percent, over Adams’ 39.41 percent.

In the House of Delegates, Democrats picked up seven out of the eight positions available in Prince William County. According to Virginia’s Department of Election, the results for members of House of Delegates representing Prince William County are as follows:

  • District 2: Democrat Jennifer Foy, 75.70 percent, over Republican Mike Makee.
  • District 13: Democrat Danica Roem, 52.60 percent, over Republican Robert Marshall.
  • District 31: Democrat Elizabeth Guzman, 60.37 percent, over Republican Scott Lingamfelter.
  • District 40: Republican Timothy Hugo, 57.51percent, over Democrat Donte Tanner.
  • District 50: Democrat Lee Carter, 55.79 percent, over Republican Jackson Miller.
  • District 51: Democrat Hala Ayala, 52.98 percent, over Republican Richard Anderson.
  • District 52: Democrat Luke Torian, 93.50 percent, with no Republican contender.
  • District 87: Democrat John Bell, 46.20 percent, over Republican Subba Kolla.
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