WASHINGTON – The polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday for a special election in Virginia’s 45th House District, but the campaign has been so short and under the radar that some experts are predicting a record low turnout – even for a special election.
“It’s probably just about the worst day of the year to vote except for maybe Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve,” says Steve Farnsworth, a University of Mary Washington political analyst.
“You’re looking at the first day of school for a lot of families. You’re looking at a very busy day coming off the labor day weekend.”
The candidates are Republican Tim McGhee, who lost the race for a state Senate seat last November, Democrat Rob Krupicka, a current Alexandria Councilmember and Libertarian Justin Malkin. The winner will replace Delegate David L. Englin who resigned after an extramarital affair became public.
The District has 62,777 registered voters in parts of the City of Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax counties.
George Mason University Public Policy Professor Mark Rozell says many voters probably haven’t paid attention since the campaign was so short.
“What the turnout is likely to be? I would guess its going to much lower than the norm even for a special election,” says Rozell.
Gov. Bob McDonnell chose Sept. 4 for the election because there is another special election on the same day. In the Norfolk area, one candidate is running unopposed for the seat Sen. Yvonne Miller held for 24 years before her death. Miller, 77, died in July — one day shy of her 78th birthday. She was the first black woman elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates in 1984 and the first black woman elected to the state Senate in 1988.
The polls in Virginia will be from 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.