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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Voter turnout in Mason District was down 3 percent

The election is over—and most of the campaign signs have been taken down—but the results are still being analyzed.

Voter turnout was down 1 percent this year county wide compared to 2007. In Mason District, turnout was down 3 percent. There doesn’t seem to be a countywide pattern, with turnout also down in Braddock, Providence, and Sully, but up in Hunter Mill, Mt. Vernon, and Springfield.

In Mason, the low turnout could possibly be attributed to non-competitive races. School board member Sandy Evans was unopposed, and Del. Kaye Kory didn’t have a Republican opponent.
Turnout was lower across the county for at-large school board candidates than other candidates. It’s possible that voters confused by all the people running skipped those choices on the ballot.

It seems having the at-large candidates that had been endorsed by the Fairfax County Democratic Committee—Ilryong Moon, Ted Velkoff, and Ryan McElveen—on the Democrats’ sample ballot was a crucial factor in their success.

Another crucial factor might have been the spoiler role played by independent candidate Steven Stuban. He only got about 37,500 votes (7.24 percent), but many of those votes probably would have gone to Republican-endorsed candidates, such as the next highest vote-getters, Sheree Brown-Kaplan and Lolita Mancheno-Smoak, if he hadn’t been on the ballot.

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