Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Heavy voter turnout reported in Annandale



People lined up to vote at mid-day at Mason Crest Elementary School in Annandale.

Election volunteers at several Annandale precincts are reporting heavy turnout at the polls today, with long lines early in the morning.

Volunteer attorneys with the Democratic Party monitoring the polls at Braddock Elementary School said there were only a few problems with voting. As of 2:30 p.m., there were a couple of cases of voters not in the poll book because they moved and hadn’t registered at their current address or their name was misspelled, said attorney Katherine Gorove. In one instance, a first-time voter was given a ride to another polling place. She said three voters had to use provisional ballots, which are only counted if there is a recount.

There was one serious problem at Braddock, however. Catherine Hagerty was trying to get help for her boyfriend, Sgt. Henry Perez, who was sent to New York to help restore order after the widespread damage caused by last week’s storm. Perez had  previously served two tours in Iraq and was deployed with the Army National Guard a few days ago to patrol downed wires in Westchester County, N.Y. 

Katherine Gorove (left), a volunteer election monitor for the Democrats, helps Catherine Hagerty (right) with a voting problem.
Perez wasn’t given advance warning before his emergency assignment and there wasn’t time to vote absentee in Virginia, Hagerty said. He was told he could fill out an absentee ballot for New York but then was told he couldn’t because he’s a resident of Virginia. The couple moved from New York to Annandale this summer and registered to vote in Virginia.   

“You try to figure out what to do and we weren’t given the right information, and now it’s too late,” said Hagerty. Gorove was hopeful that a solution could still be worked out.
Representatives from both parties hand out sample ballots to voters at the Annandale Fire Station on Columbia Pike.
Members of the Poe Middle School orchestra sell baked goodies to voters.
When the Poe orchestra left, the school's Drama Department took over.


2 comments:

  1. I learned through his family that Sgt. Perez was given the right to vote yesterday.
    This would not have happened however if it were not for the support of his partner who advocated for his rights in his stead while he is deployed for the storm clean up, and also for the attentive members of the Democratic party who, when they learned of this issue, cleared the way for Sgt. Perez to vote.

    It leaves us to question why this was not taken care of within the military? As a citizen I want to know that our men and women serving our nation are being given the proper regard and protection by the military. Protection of rights is core to US military service. Denying the right to vote is unthinkable. I am thankful that Sgt. Perez vote has been counted for him, and for all. This is a great national example of people working together, and the government listening and responding appropriately. This has become a positive story on this first day of the new era in Washington.

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  2. Catherine Hagerty11/7/12, 1:04 PM

    Hi Laurie! Thanks for commenting on this article. At the polls yesterday we were hopeful of making his vote count, but the system we were depending on had a timer on it and it didnt work. We were hoping that he could print out an absentee ballot and then fax it into VA with a letter from his commander, but the computer would not allow for the document to be printed.

    From my understanding, there were plenty of men and women aiding the area that were not allowed to vote. Some of them were from out of state, and some of them were NY residents. Those who were from NY and unable to vote were from areas upstate like Albany, and those areas were not deemed emergency. Cuomo only issued emergency voting in 4 jurisdictions, this did not include the entire state.

    This is really unfortunate and I hope there is a solution to this in the future.

    Give the family my love! xoxo

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