- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Voters, taking advantage of clear skies and unseasonably warm weather, turned out in short sleeves yesterday to cast ballots in Virginia and Maryland elections.

The crowds at Fairfax County precincts were typical for a nonpresidential election year — a steady flow of voters creating few lines.

“Aside from the beautiful weather, the turnout is typically low,” said Dona Wyckoff, a volunteer precinct worker for the Democratic Party.

Miss Wyckoff was manning a campaign table at Luther Jackson Middle School in Falls Church, which had 259 voters by 1 p.m.

Most who came out on the 80-degree day were faithful voters.

“I have always thought that the local races are most crucial,” said Desa Volmer, 26, who was manning the Republican table a few feet from Miss Wyckoff.

Outside Luther Jackson Middle School, campaign signs cluttered the approach to the door. One large “Gerry Connolly for Chairman” sign dominated the yard. Beside it, a small blue sign said: “Connolly will raise our taxes.”

“My wife can’t believe the taxes we are paying,” said Republican volunteer Steele Knudson, 31. “Property tax is a hot issue.”

In Reston, South Lakes High School was more active. The morning rush totaled 550 voters by 10 a.m.

“I am voting anti-Bush,” said Desmond Wilson, 72. Mr. Wilson said it was hard to find information about any of the candidates, but he was displeased with the White House administration and he planned to express it at the local level.

Glen Forest Elementary School in Falls Church was a hotbed for prominent issues and candidates. It was part of District 39, where Arlington Republican Kamal Nawash was running for the Virginia Senate.

“I am supporting Nawash because he is an Arab-American,” said Roasmary Miranda, 53, a third-generation American of Syrian descent.

“I did not even consider religion. I am a Catholic,” Miss Miranda said. “We need more diversity.”

Miss Miranda, manning an information table for Mr. Nawash on a sidewalk outside the school, said it was her first time working for a candidate, and she had enjoyed everything except the unseasonably hot sun.

Other voters in Glen Forest were surprised to hear that Fairfax Democrat Adam D. Ebbin, who ran unopposed, would be the first openly homosexual state delegate in Virginia.

“I was not even aware of that race,” said Republican volunteer Mike Greer, 44.

Many said the candidate’s sexual orientation didn’t make any difference.

“I am more concerned about issues,” said Binh Tran, 28. “The result of this election will change the balance in next year’s election,” he said. “I came out to support [the Republican] Party.”

Others came out simply because it was their duty.

“We are faithful voters,” said Eileen Feuerbach, 88, who came with her husband, Ted, 84. “If you are unhappy, you better vote.”

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