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Virginia Politics Blog: November 2, 2008 - November 8, 2008

Perriello Leads by 800+ Votes

Democrat Tom Perriello leads Republican Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. by more than 800 votes as local officials continue to examine ballots in a race that will determine whether Republicans maintain a majority of Virginia's House seats. As of 3 p.m., the State Board of Elections lists the difference at 834 votes. "As we've said all along, we feel confident that Tom Perriello will be declared the winner in this race,'' said Jessica Barba, a Perriello spokeswoman. "Our win margin has been growing wider as the results have been coming in from the official vote tally and now it appears that we now have a substantial lead in the race." The State Board of Elections will certify election results Nov. 24. If the margin is less than 1 percent, the losing candidate can ask for a recount....

By Anita Kumar  |  November 6, 2008; 3:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Obama wins Virginia

Obama turned Virginia blue for the first time in 44 years. He captured close to 51 percent of the vote in the Old Dominion. His win in Virginia helped complete his plan to redraw the electoral map....

By Kristen Mack  |  November 4, 2008; 11:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Turnout not as high as expected

Turnout was not anywhere near the 90 percent state elected officials projected. The presidential race appears to have attracted around 60 percent of Virginia's 5 million registered voters. While the Commonwealth netted an increase of voters this year, the turnout was roughly the same percentage as past presidential election years. There was a drop off in the number of votes cast in the down ballot races. Roughly 55 percent of voters cast a ballot in the U.S. Senate race. The Congressional races, however, saw an average of 50 percent of people voting....

By Kristen Mack  |  November 4, 2008; 11:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Warner victory party

Here are scenes from Warner's victory party at the Hilton McClean in Tysons Corner. My colleague Sandhya Somashekhar sent this dispatch: Warner took the stage around 10, three hours after the Washington Post called the election for the former governor and after triumphant speeches by Webb and Kaine. He was greeted with chants of "Warner, Warner" from the crowd. He sought in his remarks to stress bipartisanship and the diverse groups that supported him, from business groups to labor unions, and voters from urban and rural environments. "Tonight, by a record margin, Virginians said they want their next U.S. senator to focus on results, not rhetoric. Virginians understand at this critical moment for our nation that we're not going to get our country back on track if we continue to look at our problems through the old ideas of red versus blue, left versus right...Tonight this campaign ends about 18...

By Kristen Mack  |  November 4, 2008; 10:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Connolly wins

We're calling the 11th Congressional District, with 75 percent of precincts reporting. As results came in, Connolly maintained his edge, holding onto 52 percent of the vote....

By Kristen Mack  |  November 4, 2008; 10:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Gerald E. Connolly , Kristen Mack  
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We're closer

The presidential race is still evenly split. But we're closer to a result, with 86 percent of precincts reporting. Waiting on Fairfax to count its votes - a little more than half are in now. The Prince William and Loudoun tallies are almost complete, with 89 percent and 79 percent of precincts in respectively. Guess this is what it means to be a swing state - late results....

By Kristen Mack  |  November 4, 2008; 10:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Moran, Wolf and Wittman win

We're calling Moran, Wolf and Wittman, with roughly sixty percent of precincts reporting in each of the Congressional races. Moran won a 10th term to the 8th Congressional District. He had 66 percent of the vote to Ellmore's 31 percent. Wolf held onto his advantage over Feder, 62 percent to 35 percent, in the 10th Congressional District. In the 1st District, Wittman maintained a 58 percent lead over Day's 40 percent. The 11th Congressional District is still too close to call. Connolly has 52 percent to Fimian's 45 percent....

By Kristen Mack  |  November 4, 2008; 10:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Evenly split in presidential race

9:45 The race remains evenly divided, with 75 percent of precincts reporting. Much of Fairfax and Prince William counties have yet to be counted. The Northern Virginia counties have 26 percent and 32 percent of precincts reporting, respectively. Loudoun County has 65 percent of precincts reporting. Obama is maintaining a lead in each of the vote-rich counties. 9:25 p.m. The difference is marginal now. With 67 percent of precincts reporting, McCain has 49.58 percent to Obama's 49.3. 8:54 p.m. The gap is tighter. With 56 percent of precincts in, McCain has 50 percent of votes to Obama's 48 percent. 8:40 p.m. In the presidential race McCain is holding a steady lead over Obama. With 42 percent of precincts counted, McCain has a 52 percent edge over Obama's 46 percent. That total, however, does not include several vote-rich Northern Virginia cities and counties....

By Kristen Mack  |  November 4, 2008; 9:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Kristen Mack  
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Early returns in Congressional races

8:25 In the closely-watched 11th Congressional District, the race is tight. Democrat Gerald E. Connolly (D) had 50 percent to Republican Keith S. Fimian's 47 percent, with 8 percent of precincts reporting. Fimian, a successful business owner, lacks the name-recoginition of Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. But Fimian appears to be holding his own in early returns. Democrats are counting on Connolly's popularity and the changing demographics of Northern Virginia, which has increasingly trended blue, to support a win. 8:15 p.m. In Virginia's 8th District, Democrat James P. Moran had a commanding lead over low-profile newcomer Republican Mark W. Ellmore. With 10 percent of precincts reporting, the nine-term incumbent Moran held a 67 percent advantage over Ellmore's 30 percent. 7: 54 p.m. It's very early, but Republican incumbent Frank R. Wolf appears to have a strong lead over Democrat Judith M. Feder in the 10th Congressional...

By Kristen Mack  |  November 4, 2008; 8:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Gerald E. Connolly , Kristen Mack  
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Warner wins

We're calling Mark R. Warner (D) in the U.S. Senate race. In early returns, Warner took a insurmountable lead over GOP rival James S. Gilmore III. That means Virginia will have two Democratic senators for the first time since 1970....

By Kristen Mack  |  November 4, 2008; 7:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Polls have closed

Now we wait for results to come in. But here's one thing we already know: Virginia mattered this year. Sen. Barack Obama's decision to make a play for Virginia's 13 electoral votes meant that Sen. John McCain had to fight for votes in what had once been considered a reliably Republican state. Democratic presidential candidates used to say "why bother?" campaigning in Virginia, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said at the Obama rally in Manassas last night. Republican presidential nominees said "we don't need to." Well that won't work anymore. This election year we got to relish in our new swing state status. Regardless of the outcome, we'll retain that. Here's what else is at stake in down ballot races: A U.S. Senate race that pit two former governors against each other - Democrat Mark R. Warner and Republican James S. Gilmore III. In Virginia's 11 Congressional races, Democrats hope...

By Kristen Mack  |  November 4, 2008; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Kristen Mack  
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Time's Almost Up: More Details About the 7 p.m. Cut-off

If you haven't voted in today's elections and you still want to, you've got about 51 minutes left to get out the door and plant yourself in line. No more time for procrastinating if you want your vote to count in Virginia. State officials will close off all lines at voting sites precisely at 7 p.m. All voters who are in line by that time will have the opportunity to vote, and ballots will be accepted for as long as it takes to move voters through the line. An election official will stand at the end of each line beginning at 7 p.m., taking his or her place directly behind the last voter of the day. If you're behind the election official, you're out of luck. State Board of Elections officials also warn not to expect vote tallies from Virginia until at least 8 p.m. or later, in part because...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 6:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Scene from Va.'s "Chocolate City"

The community of Nauck in Arlington was founded in 1844 by freedmen, former slaves who had either bought their own freedom or were released from human bondage. Over the decades, like so many African American communities, it became isolated from the often hostile white world around it and self-sufficient out of necessity. It's the kind of place where memories of segregation and sitting on the back of the bus aren't all that distant. So for many, Tuesday dawned as a day of wonder. A day that Marvin Gardner, who works as a janitor at the Drew Model Elementary School, never could have dreamed would come in his lifetime. "I didn't think I'd ever see this," he said. The line to vote started shortly after 3 a.m. and stretched from the building, through the parking lot and out into the street. "It was Chocolate City," laughed John Lett, Nauck precinct captain...

By Kristen Mack  |  November 4, 2008; 6:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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State Board of Elections Shoots Down Allegations

At an afternoon news update in Richmond, the State Board of Elections worked to address ongoing rumors about some voting problems that have been reported by the political parties and independent voting rights groups. First, Susan Pollard, the board's spokesperson, told reporters that the board has confirmed reports that one Chesapeake precinct had as many as 1,000 people standing in line, accounting for 50 percent of that precinct's voters. Second, Pollard said the Board is looking into reports that at a Hampton polling place, ballots are being placed in a duffel bag. Those allegations came from the McCain campaign in Virginia, after an authorized representative of the Republican Party at the Jones Magnet School in Hampton witnessed regular paper ballots being stored in an open, unsecured duffel bag accessible to passers by. According to the Mccain campaign, the person "also witnessed provisional ballots and spoiled ballots laid out on an...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 5:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Voting in Northern Virginia "Smooth" Nearing Final Stretch

Registrars in Northern Virginia told me this afternoon that voting has gone extremely well thus far, with unprecedented turnout across the board, very few problems inside the polls, and just a few minor glitches here and there that are nothing out of the ordinary for a presidential election. Linda Lindberg, the Arlington County registrar, said more than 60 percent of eligible voters had cast ballots by mid-afternoon before the after-work crush, and her expectations are to have about 80 percent of the 149,000 registered voters cast ballots today. Aside from "very heavy" morning turnout, a few minor problems with optical scanners jamming and a few electronic pollbooks taking some time to boot up, Lindberg said voting has gone well. "I am very pleased it has turned out so smoothly," Lindberg said. Fairfax County Registar Rokey Suleman said that after the "typical morning hiccups that occur with every election," things have...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 5:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Update: George Mason Hoax -- They Said It

The George Mason e-mail hoax reached 35,000 people, most of them college students. Reporter Susan Kinzie found a few of them this afternoon on campus, and many said they had heard about the hoax but didn't fall for it: "I don't think anybody bought it," said Alex Katzenstein, 21. "If you're that out of it, you probably shouldn't be voting anyway." Zubair Awan, a senior from Herndon, said he heard about the hoax, along with signs that a friend told him had been placed near campus saying "Republicans vote Tuesday. Democrats vote Wednesday." Awan said the e-mail might have seemed legitimate to some people because the provost's office appeared to be a legitimate source. "I'm pretty sure some people would be tricked by it," Awan, 22, said....

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 4:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Three Cheers for The Newbies

As if voting for the first time in a presidential election weren't exciting enough, poll workers at Victory Lakes Elementary School in Prince William County gave first-time voters a little extra encouragement after their hour-and-a-half wait in line to cast ballots. According to investigative reporter R. Jeffrey Smith: "The poll workers let out a big whooping cheer every time a first-time voter came to the head of the line. It was baffling at first, and then fun when we figured out what was going on. (It was) a bit like going into a sushi parlor and having the waiters all cheer." The voters were probably just as thrilled to get to the front of the line. Elections officials reported extremely long lines this morning -- in Chesapeake, there was one line that was 1,000 people long, more than 50 percent of that precinct's voters -- but the lines eased this...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 4:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Knowing Where to Vote Is Half the Battle

We've heard about a few problems involving voter confusion, such as going to the wrong polling place or forgetting which polling place to go to. There also have been reports of fake robocalls instructing voters in the Charlottesville area to go to the wrong precincts, allegations that the Virginia State Police are currently looking into. Post reporters today have also come across voters who have been told to go from precinct to precinct to find their correct voting location. Jonathan Mummolo reports this from Gainesville: There were no lines around 3 p.m. at the polls inside the Heritage Hunt Golf and Country Club in Gainesville, but the precinct still faced some mishaps. About 50 or 60 voters at that point had shown up there mistakenly because of a recent precinct redistricting, the precinct's chief election officer Harry Beaver said. He said when precincts are redistricted, voters receive an updated registration...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Kaine Urges Virginians to Vote, Emphasizes Patience

Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine, who was long discussed as a potential vice presidential candidate on Sen. Barack Obama's ticket, issued a statement just now about the elections. Fresh off a stage appearance with Obama in Prince William County last night, Kaine urged people to vote before time runs out. "Virginians are turning out in record numbers to vote in today's historic Presidential election, despite the weather," Kaine said in a statement. "The State Board of Elections is working closely with local election officials to make sure that voting runs smoothly, and we are confident that the problems that some precincts have encountered are being addressed promptly and resolved quickly. "Those still waiting to vote should be aware that turnout is very heavy, but precinct volunteers are working hard to make the lines move as quickly as possible," Kaine continued. "Voters should remember that polls close at 7 p.m. and...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 3:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Don't Worry, They Didn't Vote

Elections always carry tales of dead people somehow managing to vote, but very few of those stories include the deceased actually making it into the polls on Election Day. Brigid Schulte, out and about in the rain tracking down voters, came back with this touching anecdote: Lisa Schumaier arrived before 6 a.m. at the Cora Kelly Recreation Center in Alexandria, the biggest and most diverse precinct in the city. And she brought company. Her parents, Peter and Dee, had been big activists for the Democratic party for years. And though both died and were cremated in 2006, she knew they would want to be part of what she called "this historic election." So she brought a piece of each. Dad in her right pocket. Mom in her left. "This is the last thing I did before I left the house this morning," she said, pulling miniscule bits of hardened white...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Voter Intimidation, or Just Cleaning Up?

Reports of voter intimidation, or "suppression" as elections officials call it, can come in many forms, and there have been scattered reports of such activities in Virginia today. But this one, reported by Mark Berman, caught my eye: The Alexandria Sheriff's Office had a detail of four inmates picking up trash this morning at George Washington Middle School in Alexandria, which is also a polling precinct where 1,930 people voted in the 2004 presidential election. One voter, who declined to be identified, expressed concern that voters might feel intimidated and said while voting at 11:30 a.m. he saw at least two other voters turn away to return later rather than walk past the prisoners in order to vote. Alexandria Sheriff Dana A. Lawhorne said that the four prisoners and a sheriff's deputy were in a courtyard on the opposite side of the building from the polls and their work "has...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 2:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Update: George Mason Hoax E-Mail Tracked

Here's an update from my colleague Brian Krebs, who writes this washingtonpost.com blog: An e-mail hoax telling 35,000 George Mason University students, faculty and staff, that the election had been moved to Nov. 5, was sent through servers run by a D.C. based company that seeks to help political campaigns promote their messages online. The fake e-mail, sent just after 1 a.m. this morning to a campus listserv, was crafted to appear as though it was sent from GMU's provost. In a follow-up e-mail sent this morning by the real GMU provost, the university said the hoax was perpetrated by someone who had apparently "hacked into" the school's e-mail system. But information sent to washingtonpost.com by a GMU student indicates that the hoax succeeded because of a lack of proper filtering on the university's e-mail servers. In addition, it appears that the message was routed through e-mail servers at a...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Virginians Voting in Record Numbers as Lines Dwindle Midday

While it's not much of a surprise that voter turnout is looking to set records, the rain and long lines haven't been a deterrant across Virginia today. According to the state's top election official, close to 50 percent of eligible Virginians had already voted as of 10 a.m. That total includes the 500,000 absentee ballots, which make up about 10 percent of all eligible votes. Registrars around the state were reporting massive numbers in the early hours of voting, with 30 percent to 40 percent of some precincts' voters going to the polls shortly after they opened this morning. Lines of several hundred people -- and in one case as many as 1,000 people -- have dwindled midday to lines of less than 15 minutes or better. Election officials urged voters to vote before 4 p.m., when lines are expected to grow again as people get off of work. "All...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 1:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Election Watchers Report Problems Across Virginia

The Election Protection Coalition, a non-partisan election protection group, is reporting problems with electronic voting machines and optical scanners in parts of Virginia, most related to the same issues the Virginia Board of Elections identified early in the morning. At the Math and Science Center in Henrico County, for example, five electronic voting machines broke down, and voters waited for as long as four hours for the machines to be brought online. The coalition reported that there were no paper ballots available, so voters had to tough it out. In Galax, sandwiched between West Virginia and North Carolina in the far western part of the state, machines reportedly were not bringing up the choices in the state Senate race, and some voters apparently cast ballots and left before the problem was discovered. "There has been a wide range of problems, ranging from machines not booting up to machines not bringing...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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State Board of Elections Experiencing High Call Volume

The Virginia State Board of Elections just sent out a notice that its call center in Richmond is experiencing an "unprecedented number of calls" related to today's voting. This after the call center earlier this morning was having many of its voter calls dropped unexpectedly in the middle of conversations. To avoid extended waits, voters can go to the board's website at www.sbe.virginia.gov, where you can find information about registration status, polling locations and other Election Day information. Voters can also engage staff members in live chats. "We appreciate our callers' patience and ask everyone to be patient when calling the SBE line," the board said in a news release....

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Hoax voting e-mail targets George Mason University community

It appears someone hacked into George Mason University's e-mail system late last night and sent out a hoax message intending to deter the Northern Virginia school's voters from going to the polls today. The short message, which looked as if it came from the office of Provost Peter N. Stearns, was addressed to the Mason Community at large: "Please note that election day has been moved to November 5th. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you." George Mason officials said this morning that the message went to approximately 35,000 people at the school's three campuses in Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William County, including about 30,000 students and 5,000 employees. University officials do not know who is responsible for the hack but said GMU is working with University police and the FBI to determine the source. "Somebody was able to access a closed list, and the question we're trying...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Virginia reports some early voting problems

The Virginia State Board of Elections has discovered problems with some electronic voting machines in isolated parts of the state, and some precincts have been encountering an unusual weather-related issue: Wet voters coming in from out of the rain have been causing some ballots to become unreadable by optical scanners. Susan Pollard, a spokesperson for the Board of Elections, said this morning that "there have been no widespread problems" in Virginia but that there have been reports of electronic pollbooks failing. She assured voters that all polling places have paper ballots as back-ups and that state officials are working to send working machines to precincts that have had electronic pollbooks go down. Optical scanners in some parts of the state have been experiencing trouble because of wet ballots affecting the machines. "Apparently what is happening is some of the problems that are occurring is voters coming in out of the...

By Josh White  |  November 4, 2008; 9:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Big Va. Crowd Wraps Up Obama Campaign

Barack Obama brought his 21-month campaign to a close tonight before what was called one of the largest gatherings in Prince William County history. Tonight's "Change We Need" rally in Manassas was the Democrat's final campaign appearance before Tuesday's election. Obama ended his general election campaign where it started -- in Virginia. After winning the Democratic nomination in June, Obama held rallies in Bristol and at Nissan Pavilion in Bristow in Prince William County. "Despite what our opponents may say, there are no real or fake parts of Virginia, any more then there are real or fake parts of America," Obama said. "Virginia, your voice can change the world tomorrow."...

By Kristen Mack  |  November 3, 2008; 8:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
Categories:  Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , Kristen Mack , Prince William  
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Biden Makes One Last Stop in Va

Sen. Joe Biden, accompanied by his wife, Jill, will make his final campaign stop of the presidential election in Virginia tomorrow. Biden will stop in the Richmond area on Election Day to meet voters in person, ask for their support and urge them to get out and vote. Campaign officials say they will not release details of the stop so that "the Bidens can meet with voters informally and without interrupting important get out the vote activities." It will be the 17th trip made by either Sen. Barack Obama or Biden....

By Anita Kumar  |  November 3, 2008; 8:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , Joe Biden  
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Voters Warned to Check on Polling Place

A small number of the hundreds of thousands of campaign brochures left on front doors across the state this morning by Democratic volunteers encouraging people to vote directed them to the wrong polling places. The door hangers, which encouraged people to vote for Sen. Barack Obama for president and former governor Mark R. Warner for U.S. Senate, includes a printed address for the precints for each particular house. Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the Virginia Democratic Party, said a small number of locations were wrong in some cases across the state, including a portion of the City of Richmond. Democratic volunteers plan to leave updated door hangers on the houses where they made mistakes. State election officials said today they received reports from several locations across the state that automated calls are also providing incorrect polling place locations. They warn voters to double check the information by contacting their local...

By Anita Kumar  |  November 3, 2008; 5:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , Mark Warner  
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Good News for Democrats in Arlington County?

In a sign there could be a huge Democratic turnout for tomorrow's election, two out of every 10 voters in Arlington County has already cast an absentee ballot. According to statistics from the State Board of Elections, 22 percent of Arlington's 149,000 registered voters have submitted an absentee ballot. Democrats leaders are hoping that Barack Obama can get at least 75 percent of the vote in Arlington, a Democratic stronghold. Arlington is on pace to double the statewide average. Earlier today, the State Board of Elections announced that about 10 percent of all registered voters statewide had already cast an absentee ballot. But Arlington County has received 33,294 completed absentee ballots, three times as many as it process in the 2004 presidential race. That year, just 8 percent of registered voters in Arlington County voted by absentee ballot. By comparison, traditionally Republican Virginia Beach has processed 21,383 absentee ballots so...

By Tim Craig  |  November 3, 2008; 3:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
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Obama Rally Will be Fed Into Market Square

Sen. Barack Obama's election-eve rally tonight at the Prince William County Fairgrounds will be broadcast live in Alexandria's Market Square. U.S. Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.) and the Democratic Party of Virginia are setting up a jumbotron in the square so people who can't travel to Manassas can watch the event. For years, Democrats have been ending their final election swing in Market Square, including an election-eve rally during the 2006 Senate race featuring Former President Bill Clinton. At tonight's event, the band The Constituents will perform until the live-feed begins....

By Tim Craig  |  November 3, 2008; 11:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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Democrats Improperly Disclose Big Donation

The Virginia Democratic Party failed to properly disclose a $200,000 donation it received in early September from a labor union, party officials admitted today. In Virginia, there are no limits on how much an individual or organization can give to a political candidate or party, but all donations of $10,000 or more have to be reported to the State Board of Elections within three business days. The information is then uploaded on the State Board of Elections' website so the public can keep track of who is funding political committees and candidates. On Sept. 4, the Laborers' Political League Education Fund gave the state party $200,000, which at the time was the largest contribution the state party had received in at least a decade, excluding transfers from candidates or other Democratic committees. But the state party never reported it until Oct. 15, when it filed its quarterly campaign finance report....

By Tim Craig  |  November 2, 2008; 6:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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The Final Push (Updated)

Here are some of the numerous campaign activities happening in battleground Virginia in the final two days before voters go to the polls to elect Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama: Republicans: Today, Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks in Lynchburg and several former POWs, including Paul Galanti, Orson Swindle and Tom Moe will appear in Danville. Tomorrow, the former POWs will be in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Yorktown, Mechanicsville and Richmond. Former Sen. Fred Thompson, former governor George Allen, Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, Del. Christopher B. Saxman (R-Saunton) and former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore will fly around the state, stopping in Harrisonburg, Norfolk, Richmond and the Tri-Cities area. McCain will hold a rally in the Tri-Cities area tomorrow night. Democrats: Today, Sen. Hillary Clinton holds a rally in Fairfax County. Former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe will be in Bristol, Castlewoood and Tazewell. Sen. Creigh Deeds is in Grundy, Big Stone Gap...

By Anita Kumar  |  November 2, 2008; 2:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Election 2008/President , John McCain  
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NRA Runs Anti-Obama Ads in Va

The National Rifle Association, which had to halt plans to run anti-Barack Obama ads on Election Day because newspapers declined to run them, found a home for its ads today. Two days before Tuesday's historic election, the NRA is running full-page ads in some Virginia newspapers listing eight reasons to vote against the Democratic pesidential nominee under the banner "Can Obama be Trusted to Protect Your Gun Rights? You Decide." The NRA, based in Fairfax County, contacted some newspapers in Virginia and other battleground states about wrapping their newspapers Tuesday in plastic bags that would read: "Vote for Freedom... Defeat Obama." Two of the state's biggest newspapers, the Virginian-Pilot and Richmond Times-Dispatch, declined the ads. The NRA endorsed Republican presidential nominee John McCain. The group's political action committee created an anti-Obama Website that says he "would be the most anti-gun president in American history." "In his many trips to the...

By Anita Kumar  |  November 2, 2008; 10:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Barack Obama , Campaign Ads , Election 2008/President , John McCain  
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Final Mason-Dixon Poll Shows Close Race

Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain remain locked in a close race in Virginia, according to the final Mason Dixon Polling & Research Inc. survey. The poll, conducted for several Virginia newspapers, has Obama drawing 47 percent vs. McCain's 44 percent. A Mason-Dixon Virginia poll two weeks ago had Obama ahed by 2-points, 47 to 45 percent.. According to the Virginian Pilot, pollster J. Bradford Coker found large numbers of white, undecided voters. Coker said McCain can still carry Virginia if those voters break his way during the final 48-hours of the campaign. But Obama remains well-positioned to win Virginia. The Mason-Dixon poll shows him beating McCain by 30-points in Northern Virginia and by 10-points in Hampton Roads, a crucial battleground in statewide elections. McCain leads in the rest of the state. In the 2006 Senate race, the final Mason-Dixon poll had U.S. Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) ahead of...

By Tim Craig  |  November 2, 2008; 12:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (42)
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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