With more than 1,200 people voting so far with less than five hours left to cast a vote, write-in city council candidate Sheryl Bass could have an early lead based on the amount of pink t-shirts that showed up to area polling locations Tuesday.
Although the Virginia State Board of Elections Elections Results Web page has not reported the unofficial results, Leslie Kostelecky, who was supporting Bass outside Haydon Elementary School Tuesday, said she has seen a significant amount of support for the write-in candidate who was not nominated by her party during the Republican Convention in late January.
Kostelecky said voters have been asking for literature pertaining to campaign, which sprouted as part of a grass roots effort among citizens after many were disappointed over the results of the convention.
All five of Manassas' voting precincts reported a slow start for the day as rain may have kept many of the early voters away. There's hope things will pick up into the evening hours since the weather has improved.
Most people said they were surprised by the low voter turnout especially in a tightly contested election where you have six candidates (including Sheryl Bass write-in campaign) vying for three city council seats and seven candidates vying for four school board seats.
"You would always like to have more," said Mayoral Candidate Incumbent Harry J. (Hal) Parrish ll, who was visiting all the precincts Tuesday.
Parrish said this election has had more participation than past elections with "lots of good choices." He said that's a good thing because local government is more important on a day-to-day basis than state and federal government when it comes to education and safer and securer neighborhoods for families and businesses.
Metz Precinct, which reported 3,919 registered voters in early March, had seen just over 200 voters by 12:30 p.m.
Dean Precinct, the city's largest precinct, tallied 264 votes at noon. Council Candidate Ian Lovejoy arrived at Jennie Dean Elementary School at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"I think the rain kept people away this morning," said Lovejoy, who expected things to pick up during the lunch hour and into the evening.
Council Candidate Jonathan L. Way, who was spotted at several of the precincts, called voter turnout "typical" and "mediocre." He expects about 2,200 voters will visit the city's polling locations today.
Wellington resident Andrew Lopez was supporting Way outside the Dean Precinct Tuesday. He said he is supporting the council incumbent because he doesn't waste taxpayers' dollars.
Baldwin Precinct reported 220 voters as of 12:30 p.m., and Haydon Elementary School Precinct, which reported 4,359 registered voters in March, tallied 330 votes by 1:15 p.m. Weems Precinct reported 243 voters by 1:30 p.m. That's about 30 people per hour, according to Weems Election Chief Ana Marie Knapp Conrad.
No precincts have reported any issues with the voting process. "Everything is going good, especially with the write-in process," said Ralph Smith, Assistant Chief at Baldwin.