If early ballots are any indication, interest in this mid-term election is running high — possibly as high as in a presidential election year.
As of last Friday, 23,772 ballots had been cast in Fairfax County since early voting began September 15. That’s an increase of 112 percent over the number of early ballots cast at this point in the 2017 election. The figures come from the non-partisan Virginia Public Access Project. In Fairfax City and Falls Church the increase is 115 percent. Statewide, 95,616 ballots have been case for an increase of 97 percent.
“It’s actually quite shocking,” Richard Keech, deputy director of the elections office in Loudoun County told the Washington Post. “This would be the first time without a president on the ballot that we’ve seen this kind of increase.”
In the 10th Congressional District, which includes parts of Fairfax County, early voting is up a whopping 144 percent. There, Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock is fighting a challenge from Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Wexton.
In the 11th CD, also covering part of Fairfax, Democrat Rep. Gerald Connolly is being challenged by Republican Jeff Dove. Connolly has represented that district since 2009.
Nationwide, more than 4.3 million Americans have already cast their ballots, signaling a huge increase in turnout from the last midterm elections in 2014, when overall voter participation hit a 70-year low, The Hill reported recently.