Manassas Sees Low Voter Turnout on Super Tuesday

Polling locations in the predominately Republican City of Manassas were decidedly quiet Tuesday morning.

Polling locations in the predominately Republican City of Manassas were decidedly quiet this morning, as few voters turned out to cast their ballots in the presidential primary election.

 Julie Maddalena, who's lived in Manassas for three years, said she was surprised when she arrived to Metz Middle School around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday to cast her vote.

"I was expecting more people," said Maddalena, who started out leaning towards Paul, but decided to vote for Romney because "Paul doesn't stand a chance."

Elections Chief for the Metz Precinct Meade Kendrick said the location which as 3,919 registered voters saw about a dozen voters an hour from the time the polls opened at 6 a.m. until about 10:30 a.m.

Some are attributing the low voter turnout to only two names being on the ballot: former Massachusetts Gov. and Texas Congressman .

"There's really no one to vote for or against," Kendrick said."One [Romney] is going to win."

Kendrick also said he expects a low percentage of democrats and independents to show up for this election, even though they can.

Al Osborne was working the polls Tuesday morning for the Haydon Precinct, which has 4,359 registered voters. He said the location cast 96 votes by 11 a.m.

"Romney has a better position than Paul and is a shoe-in," Osborne said. Had this been a combined primary or presidential candidate Rick Santorum been on the ballot you would have seen a better crowd, he said.

Chief Election Officer for the Baldwin Precinct Ethel Fletcher said the location had seen about 63 voters as of 10:40 a.m.

"It's light and it may be the same for the rest of the day," said Fletcher. For the last five years, more people have been coming [to vote] in the morning."

Fletcher said voters may be confused because signs were posted outside the precincts for candidates running in congressional elections later this year, and  the candidates who are actually on the Virginia Super Tuesday ballot didn't do much campaigning in the state.

When asked if she thought there should be more candidates on the ballot, Fletcher said "if you are going to run a campaign on a national basis people should be aware of individual state rules."

Presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry both failed to meet the state's deadline to meet the state's requirements to take part in its presidential nominating contest.

Both candidates filed a federal lawsuit challenging Virginia's qualification process on constitutional grounds, Reuters reported in December.

In January, the Va. Appeals Court ruled against the lawsuit citing the candidates had acted too late, ABC News reported.

Still, Manassas resident Lynette Shriver said even though there's not a candidate on the ballot she fully supports, she will exercise her right to vote Tuesday because "it's her civic duty."

Republican candidate for senate George Allen, who's been gearing up for his own primary in June, is expected to visit Manassas on Super Tuesday. He will be on the ballot with challenger Prince William County General Assembly member

Chris Shumpert March 07, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Maybe that's because half of their residents are illegals.
Erin Gibson (Editor) March 07, 2012 at 03:40 PM
We are talking about registered voters here. Do you still think this is the reason, or could it be that people just don't vote, or their candidate (Santorum, Gingrich) was not on the ballot?


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