With a new tightening in the polls energizing voters nationally who’d otherwise be operating on fumes by now, one of the most important presidential elections in memory comes to every U.S. citizen Tuesday. Three polling places in the City of Falls Church will, like those throughout the Commonwealth, be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8.
The City of Falls Church has a long-standing record of turning out the highest percentage of its registered voters in the entire state for presidential elections, and the keen interest here suggests this time will be no exception.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a former first lady and U.S. Senator from New York, is seeking the U.S. presidency as a Democrat with her running mate, Virginia’s own Tim Kaine. She is pitted against New York developer and reality TV personality Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Michael Pence. Also on the ballot in Virginia are the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson, the Green Party’s Jill Stein, and Utah-based independent Evan McMullin.
Locally, Democratic Congressman Don Beyer, long hailed as Falls Church’s “Favorite Son” since he moved from his City-based car dealership and leader in the local Chamber of Commerce to seek statewide election in 1989. Now, he is on the ballot seeking a second term as our U.S. Congressman from the 8th District. He faces opposition from Republican Charles Hernick, an environmental consultant, and Independent Julio Garcia, a veteran FBI agent.
After a vigorous battle in the Democratic primary in 2014 to be the replacement in the district for the ever-popular Jim Moran, Beyer is now being considered a sure thing Tuesday, but unwilling to take anything for granted.
To the west of the City, in the 10th Congressional district held by Republicans Frank Wolf and now Barbara Comstock for more than 25 years, this year marks the best chance for success for a Democrat, developer LuAnn Bennett. Both candidates, as well as SuperPACs have spent millions on the race with Bennett focusing on Comstock’s ties to Trump, and Comstock focusing on Bennett’s business practices.
In the 11th District covering the eastern end of Fairfax County and parts of Prince William, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly is favored and is using a lot of his efforts to get out the vote for Clinton-Kaine.
City of Falls Church voters will discover Tuesday that they will be asked whether or not to support the City’s issue of an $8.7 million bond to pay for the renovation and expansion of the Mary Riley Styles Public Library, its first improvements since the early 1990s. The City’s population has grown from 9,300 to 13,500 since then and is projected to be 17,000 in another decade. Currently, 79 percent of citizens in F.C. have library cards with 477,000 items circulated per year.
Two statewide referenda are on the ballot. One calls for permitting localities to exempt surviving spouses of law enforcement and other first responders killed in the line of duty from paying real estate taxes. The other places in the state constitution anti-labor right to work provisions that are already in the state code.
(The Falls Church chapter of the League of Women Voters, which held an informational panel on the library referendum last month, has an extensive Voter Guide explaining this and all other issues on the ballot in Falls Church published on pages 17-20 in this edition. The League states there that it remains staunch in its position that it does not support or oppose any candidate or political party.)
While many have already voted absentee by mail or in person, the three polling places open on Nov. 8 are at the Jefferson Elementary School, 601 S. Oak, the Oakwood Apartments at 501 N. Roosevelt, and the F.C. Community Center, 223 Little Falls St.
Voters are reminded that Virginia law now requires everyone to show a valid photo identification card, which can be a driver’s license. The City’s Registrar at City Hall can provide any citizen with such a card upon request prior to the election.