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by Jennifer van der Kleut November 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm 17 Comments

"I voted" sticker. (Photo via Flickr/vox efx)Though Republican Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton on Election Day, votes throughout Fairfax County and specifically in Reston did not necessarily mirror the rest of the country.

Members of the voting public in the 10th Congressional District re-elected Republican Barbara Comstock by 52 percent to Democrat Luann Bennett’s 46 percent. Nationwide, Republicans appear to have kept their majority in Congress and the Senate, as well.

Additionally, several amendments and tax measures were on the ballot.

Virginia’s proposed “right-to-work” constitutional amendment did not pass. The other amendment on the ballot, which would allow spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty to be exempt from property taxes if they remain in their home and have not remarried, passed.

The controversial Fairfax County Meals Tax, which would have raised taxes on restaurant and prepared meals by an additional 4 percent to help fund schools and other county services and capital improvement projects, did not pass.

The county’s Transportation Bond, however, did pass, giving the Board of Supervisors permission to sell bonds in the amount of $120 million to help fund improvements to roads, highways, facilities and transit.

Fairfax County residents also showed love for their parks by passing a bond measure allowing the county to borrow roughly $107 million to contribute to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority for developing and maintaining local green spaces and facilities.

Here’s a breakdown of how locals voted on those ballot measures:

(more…)

by Jennifer van der Kleut November 8, 2016 at 1:45 pm 7 Comments

Election Day is here, and Restonians are headed out to the polls in big numbers so far today.

Polling place volunteers at both the North County Government Center and South Lakes High School said lines were long as voters came out in droves at 6 a.m., when the polls opened.

“I’d say we had between 200 and 400 voters just between 6 and 6:30 a.m., as people tried to get their vote in before heading to work,” a South Lakes High volunteer said. “People were in line for at least 30 minutes at that time.”

The lines decreased significantly by 8 a.m., and most voters have made it in and out quickly since then, volunteers said.

By 11 a.m., all Fairfax County precincts had served between 30-40 percent of their registered voters, not including the large numbers of voters who already voted via absentee or early voting, election officials said in an email.

Paul Prados, a member of the Fairfax Republicans committee and chairman of the 11th Congressional District committee, which includes Reston, said the attitudes of volunteers and voters was overwhelmingly positive.

“Quite frankly, I think it’s all due to the volunteers’ good attitudes, on all sides and about all issues,” Prados said as he handed out sample ballots at South Lakes High this morning. “Because of that, all voters are responding favorably, even to messages they might not normally be receptive to.”

As one of the larger polling places in Reston, South Lakes High had locals outside advocating on both sides of Virginia’s right-to-work ballot measure, which would amend the commonwealth’s constitution to prohibit employers from forcing workers to join unions.

Prados said union advocates came out to urge voters to vote against the amendment, while members of the Fairfax Republicans committee urged people to pass it, even though he said the language used to explain the amendment was a confusing “monstrosity.”

“Virginia has always been a right-to-work state,” Prados said. “That right shouldn’t be chipped away.”

Another ballot measure that has drawn advocates out is the Fairfax County Meals Tax, which proposes raising taxes on prepared and restaurant meals by 4 percent to a total of 10 percent.

A handful of write-in Republican candidates looking to succeed Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) had signs and volunteers campaigning in their favor at local precincts, too. Connolly is running unopposed on the ballot.

Barbara Banks, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, who now works mostly as a private pilot, is one write-in candidate hoping to beat Connolly in the election.

Another write-in candidate is Chris Grose of Burke, who has been pounding the pavement since at least July, Prados said. Grose is an Army combat veteran who fought in Iraq and currently serves on the board of both the Fairfax Home School Athletic Association and the Northern Virginia Players.

Many voters said they felt relieved as they left the polls in Reston after voting.

One woman who voted at the North County Government Center, was especially excited and said the day was “momentous” for her in a number of ways.

“I was a member of the first high school graduating class that was allowed to vote at age 18,” she said of her hometown in Indiana.

She said today felt just as momentous as she cast her vote for the first female nominee of a major U.S. political party, Hillary Clinton.

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by RestonNow.com November 7, 2016 at 11:05 am 6 Comments

Rep. Gerry Connolly/Credit: U.S. CongressEditor’s Note: The answers to these questions were written by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and do not reflect the opinions of Reston Now.

As Virginians prepare to head to the polls tomorrow, Reston Now had a chance to ask a few questions of Reston’s representative in Congress, Gerry Connolly, who is running unopposed for re-election.

RN: What do you most hope to accomplish in your next term?

GC: Protecting and growing Northern Virginia’s economy has always been my top priority. In my next term, I will continue working to end sequestration, get better pay and benefits for federal employees, and give commuters more transportation choices.

Our local economy is a delicate partnership between the federal government and the private sector. My job is to foster that partnership so that both succeed. The good news is our local economy continues to be strong, with an unemployment rate under 4 percent and solid growth.

Over the next two years, I’ll continue working to ensure we attract the good-paying jobs of the future by building on our success in technology to become a national hub for cyber-security investment.

RN: What effect does the winner of the presidential election have on those priorities? Will they change at all depending on whether Clinton or Trump wins?

GC: For the first time in history, one of the two major parties has nominated someone who doesn’t respect the basic norms of our democratic system. He has sought to delegitimize the election results by claiming the vote-counting process is “rigged” and, in an unprecedented manner, signaled that Hillary Clinton’s presidency is illegitimate before it has even begun. (more…)

by Karen Goff September 13, 2016 at 2:55 pm 11 Comments

Michelle Obama/Official White House pictureFirst Lady Michelle Obama will hit the campaign trail this week, stumping for
Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine Friday, Sept. 16 at George Mason University in Fairfax.

Says the Clinton campaign: “At a public Democratic Party of Virginia organizing event, the First Lady will urge Virginians, especially young people, to support Clinton and Kaine in November and register to vote ahead of the October 17 deadline.”

The event begins at 3 p.m., with doors opening to the public at 1 p.m. (arrive early; lines tend to be long).

The speech will be at the Johnson Center, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax.

Interested in attending? RSVP on the Clinton campaign website.

by Karen Goff August 10, 2016 at 10:10 am 0

Hillary Clinton/HillaryClinton.comThe Hillary Clinton presidential campaign’s Lake Anne Plaza office will open Aug. 23, the campaign said.

As Reston Now reported last week, the campaign will have an local office for the last months leading up to the Nov. 8 election at 1635 Washington Plaza. That’s currently a former hair salon space on Lake Anne Plaza.

There will be an opening party on Aug. 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Get more details and RVSP on the Hillary Clinton website.

From HillaryClinton.com:

Please join fellow Democrats, special guests and your local organizers to celebrate the North Fairfax’s 2016 Democratic Coordinated Campaign Office Opening in Reston!

Organizers for the Hunter Mill, Dranesville and Sully Districts will be in attendance. The office is in Lake Anne Plaza.

Food, drinks and materials will be provided–just bring yourself and family and friends!

by Karen Goff July 22, 2016 at 8:40 pm 29 Comments

When Hillary Clinton selected Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Thursday evening, it marked the first time since Woodrow Wilson that a Virginian is on the national ticket.

Virginia may be the mother of presidents — it’s had eight, more than any other state — just not in 100 years or so. And the last vice president from Virginia was John Tyler, who served for 30 days and then was vaulted to president upon the death of William Henry Harrison.

Kaine, 58, has represented Virginia in the U.S Senate since 2012. Prior to that he served as Virginia governor (2006-10) and Mayor of Richmond. He has a law degree from Harvard and spent a year as a Catholic missionary in Honduras (where he learned to speak fluent Spanish). He is also a former Democratic National Committee Chairman.

Kaine’s early legal career was spent in Richmond, representing clients in fair housing and racial discrimination cases. His attention to civil rights is one factor that makes him “a Reston kind of guy,” says Virginia Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston).

“Tim Kaine is a Reston kind of guy,” said Plum. “He made his mark early on in civil rights litigation. The kind of things our community stands for are the kind of things Tim Kaine stands for.”

Kaine and Clinton spoke together last week at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale.

Kaine has made many appearances in Reston in recent years. He sat next to Reston founder Bob Simon at Simon’s 100th birthday celebration in April of 2014. He praised Simon as a visionary in creating an integrated new town in a divided south.

“In 1964, when Reston opened, discrimination was rampant and legal,” Kaine said that day at Lake Anne Plaza. “It wasn’t until 1968 that the federal Fair Housing Act was passed. It wasn’t until 1971 that the Virginia General Assembly passed the South’s first fair housing law. Bob [Simon] was a real visionary.

“When we look at Virginia history since World War II, Bob should be one of the five or six individuals [we talk about]. Bob took a state that was facing backward and turned it facing forward.”

Kaine also spoke at Simon’s celebration of life last April. (more…)

by Karen Goff July 21, 2016 at 10:00 am 4 Comments

 Presumptive Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton will likely make her pick for vice president on Friday or Saturday, and a familiar name keeps surfacing among the frontrunners: Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D).

Kaine, 58, is said to be among the top two Clinton is considering as the Democratic National Convention gets closer. The DNC is next week in Philadelphia.

The other top contender, according to The Washington Post, is Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Clinton and Kaine campaigned together last week in Annandale.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Wednesday Kaine would be someone President Obama would recommend to Clinton as a vice-presidential pick.

Kaine attended Harvard Law School and was a Catholic missionary in Honduras (he is fluent in Spanish) before entering politics. He has served as Mayor of Richmond, Governor of Virginia and was elected to the senate in 2012.

Here is what would happen to Kaine’s Senate seat should he become VP.

Kaine will be in Northern Virginia all day today. In the morning, Kaine will host a roundtable discussion in Arlington with local advocacy groups on immigration reform. In the afternoon, he will host a roundtable discussion at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) in Sterling with leaders of the Northern Virginia interfaith and civil rights communities to discuss the importance of tolerance and religious freedom in light of recent rhetoric surrounding Muslim communities in America.

Would adding Kaine to the ticket influence your vote? Take our poll.

by Karen Goff March 2, 2016 at 10:00 am 8 Comments

Marco Rubio/Credit: US SenateHillary Clinton/HillaryClinton.comWhile Donald Trump won Virginia, Fairfax County and Reston voters chose Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as their top candidate in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary on Tuesday. Rubio won in all 14 of Reston’s precincts.

On the Democrat side, local results were in line with state results, with frontrunner Hillary Clinton winning Virginia, as well as Fairfax County and all Reston precincts.

Turnout in Fairfax was 22 percent for the Democratic primary and 20 percent for the Republicans. In the Hunter Mill District, it was 25 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

That’s a robust turnout for a primary, county records show. In the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary, turnout was 6.4 percent. In the 2008 primaries, turnout was 9.8 percent for the Republicans and 26 percent for the Democrats.

Below are 2016 primary county and precinct-level stats from the Virginia Board of Elections. Ballots contained names of candidates who have dropped out of the race. Results shown are for candidates who are still running.

Fairfax County Results

Democrats

  • Hillary Clinton – 86,898 votes/63 %
  • Bernie Sanders – 50,217/36 %

Republicans

  • Marco Rubio – 52,257/40 %
  • Ben Carson – 4,095/3 %
  • Donald Trump – 32,757/25 %
  • Ted Cruz – 18,888/13 %
  • John Kasich – 22, 862/17 %

See Reston precinct results after the jump.

(more…)

by Karen Goff March 1, 2016 at 9:30 am 17 Comments

Super Tuesday voters check in at South Lakes HS polling place

Super Tuesday in Reston started warm (for March 1) and sunny — and with voter traffic similar to a general election, said Fairfax County polling officials.

Fairfax County polls opened at 6 a.m. and will be open until 7 p.m. Eleven states, including Virginia, will cast ballots in 2016 Presidential primaries or caucuses today.

By 8:30 a.m., 312 voters (200 Democrat ballots; 114 Republican) had been through Reston’s largest precinct, at South Lakes High School. At the new North Point precinct at St. Thomas a Becket Church, 316 voters cast ballots (175 Republican; 141 Democrats) by 8:50 a.m.

A random survey of voters at both polling places, as well as the polling place at Langston Hughes Middle School, showed Restonians are supporting a variety of candidates.

“I voted for Hillary Clinton,” said Reston resident David Ackerman. “She’s about the only adult left in the race.”

Ned Dickert, casting his ballot at SLHS, showed off his blue tie and shirt.

“All blue today,” he said. “I voted for Hillary. I think she will make the best president.”

At North Point, lawyer Cathy Ruse said Ted Cruz has her vote.

“He is the most consistent conservative,” she said.

Joe Ingrisano said John Kasich has his vote.

“He seems to me the most adult,” he said. “He doesn’t ridicule anyone and doesn’t engage in the negativity. He is more of a moderate than a conservative. I am most interested in who can govern, We cannot afford eight more years with no government.”

Another voter who did not want to give her name, also said she was tired of the negative campaigning.

“I intended to vote for Marco Rubio,” she said. “But the nastiness turned me into a Ben Carson voter.”

Another voter shouted her support for her candidate: “Trump!” she said. “We’ve had  enough of the global elite establishment. We’re tired of politics as usual.”

Fairfax County election officials have said they expect large crowds today. If you have not voted yet, here is what you need to know:

In Fairfax County, there will be two primaries held in each poll location. Registered voters can vote for either a Democratic candidate or a Republican candidate, but not both. You do not have to be registered by party ahead of time.

The Presidential Primary ballots were printed in advance of absentee voting, which started in January, so ballots will contain names of some candidates no longer in the race.

Here is a Democrat sample ballot.

Here is a Republican sample ballot.

Bring your ID

There are several forms of acceptable photo ID:

Where to vote

Not sure where your polling spot is? Visit this online tool on the Fairfax County Board of Elections website.

In Reston, there have been a couple of changes since the last election. The Terraset precinct polling place has been moved to Langston Hughes Middle School. There is also a new district in North Reston. A new precinct at Armstrong Elementary was created by dividing Aldrin and North Point precincts.

The northern portion of North Point precinct combined with the northern portion of Aldrin will retain the name “North Point,” with polling place at St. Thomas a Becket Catholic Church, 1421 Wiehle Ave., Reston. The southern portion of Aldrin retains the name “Aldrin” and polling place at Aldrin Elementary School.

Reston Now will have local precinct results when they come in after 7 p.m.

Photo: Super Tuesday voters check in at South Lakes High School polling place.

by Karen Goff February 25, 2016 at 9:55 am 0

"I voted" sticker. (Photo via Flickr/vox efx)Virginia will go to the polls Tuesday, March 1 as part of Super Tuesday, an important primary day in the 2016 Presidential race.

There are primaries or caucuses in 11 states.

Here is what you need to know:

There will be two primaries held in each poll location in Fairfax County. Registered voters can vote for either a Democratic candidate or a Republican candidate, but not both. You do not register to vote to vote by party in Virginia.

The Presidential Primary ballots were printed in advance of absentee voting, which started in January. Several candidates have since withdrawn from the election.

Earlier this month, the State Board of Elections approved the Republican Party of Virginia’s request to rescind use of a statement of affiliation to vote in the Republican Party Primary. Voters who request a Republican ballot for the March 1 Primary will not be asked to sign a statement of affiliation. More information will be found at http://elections.virginia.gov/.

Here is a Democrat sample ballot.

Here is a Republican sample ballot.

Fairfax County Public Schools also announced last week school will be closed on Tuesday. The school board had voted for a two-hour delay, but with a heavy turnout expected, the board voted to close for the day.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Bring your ID

There are several forms of acceptable photo ID:

If you do not have a photo ID, you can get a free photo ID from the Office of Elections. Contact them at 703-222-0776, TTY 711, or email [email protected].

Where to vote

Not sure where your polling spot is? Visit this online tool on the Fairfax County Board of Elections website.

In Reston, there have been a couple of changes since the last election. The Terraset precinct polling place has been moved to Langston Hughes Middle School. There is also a new district in North Reston. A new precinct at Armstrong Elementary was created by dividing Aldrin and North Point precincts.

The northern portion of North Point precinct combined with the northern portion of Aldrin will retain the name “North Point,” with polling place at St. Thomas a Becket Catholic Church, 1421 Wiehle Avenue, Reston. The southern portion of Aldrin retains the name “Aldrin” and polling place at Aldrin Elementary School.

Unsure if those changes affect you? Enter your address in the online tool or contact the board of elections.

by Karen Goff February 19, 2016 at 9:30 am 2 Comments

fcps logoAs expected, the Fairfax County School Board voted Thursday to close all schools on Tuesday, March 1.

Virginians will vote in the 2016 Presidential Primary that day. The school board had voted in October for a two-hour delay that day, but with a record turnout expected, reconsidered.

From FCPS:

In past presidential primaries, Fairfax County public schools have remained open, and the board had planned to continue this practice with the upcoming primary. In light of historic turnouts in primaries across the country in the past few weeks, it is anticipated that voter turnout in Fairfax County will likewise result in historic numbers of voters.

A total of 167 Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) buildings are used as polling sites, 124 of which are elementary schools with very limited parking and restricted access in and around buildings.

Record voter turnouts in New Hampshire and Iowa, and anticipation of an historic voter turnout from the Fairfax County Office of Elections, led the Board to believe that there could be significant logistical issues regarding parking and building access on March 1.

The Board was also concerned that the sheer number of citizens entering schools to vote will make it difficult to conduct a normal school day. Both the Office of Elections and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors encouraged the Board to consider closing schools March 1 and, after deliberating with state officials, they decided to do so.

Teachers and students will not report to school on March 1.  SACC (school age child care), school offices, and central offices will be open.

Since FCPS has extra hours built into the school calendar to accommodate weather emergencies, it will not be necessary to make up the day.

by Karen Goff February 18, 2016 at 10:00 am 8 Comments

South Lakes High School It looks like Fairfax County Public Schools students will get the entire day off on Tuesday, March 1, as voters head to the polls in Virginia.

March 1 is Super Tuesday, when Virginia and a dozen other states vote in the 2016 Presidential Primaries.

Since many polling places are at schools (including Hughes Middle, Aldrin Elementary, Sunrise Valley Elementary, South Lakes High School and others in Reston), the FCPS school board voted in October for a two-hour delay on March 1.

Since then, there has been extensive lobbying of the Board of Supervisors — including by Fairfax County Electoral Board Secretary Kate Hanley, a Reston resident and the former county supervisor chair (1995-2003) — asking that the schools be closed for the day. Hanley said she had security concerns as a very large turnout is expected.

In January, the BOS voted 9 to 1 to ask the schools to close. At that time, schools superintendent Karen Garza said there were no plans to close FCPS on primary day. (more…)

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