Anxiety, Trump and Ruth Bader Ginsburg legacy lead to long lines at early voting in US – National


FAIRFAX, Virginia – There are 40 days until the U.S. election, but the queue for early voting at the Fairfax Government Center stretches across the vast parking lot, before returning to the front gates .The average voter will wait up to four hours, with the line forming well before the doors open each day. This has been the case every day since the early voting began in this part of Virginia.

READ MORE: Trump will not commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses to Biden

“Usually we wouldn’t see them appearing so soon,” admits Gary Scott, Fairfax County Electoral Officer.

Local election officials were already bracing for a record turnout in the 2020 presidential election, but a surprising convergence of events sparked interest beyond expectations: fears over the integrity of ballots. postal voting; the COVID-19 pandemic; and the political struggle for the vacancy of the United States Supreme Court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The story continues under the ad

“We expect a 90% turnout in the county,” Scott said. In 2016, the participation rate was 82.5%.

In the long line of voters, there is a constant sense of urgency.

“I can’t believe how many people are already here,” Trump supporter Ben Johnson said as he watched the line. “I hope they will vote for the right candidate,” he added.

President Trump says they must make sure ‘elections are fair’

President Trump says they must make sure ‘elections are fair’

Virginia has one of the longest early voting periods in the country, starting 45 days before the election. Some 39 states and Washington, DC, allow some form of advance voting in person before election day, and polls show just over half of Americans plan to take advantage of advance voting in person or by mail.

In Fairfax County, most voters are Democrats, and they are largely afraid of a contested election result. President Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the election by challenging postal voting have resonated.

The story continues under the ad

“There is a lot of anxiety,” said voter Darryl Green, when asked why he was voting early. “We just want to make sure our vote is counted.”

“With all the potential controversy with all of the mail-in ballots, I just thought it would be best to vote in person,” said voter Ruth Lowery.

READ MORE: Donald Trump booed while paying tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg

An election campaign is a dynamic and constantly evolving event.

Each rapid development seemed to cause a new urgency to vote, for supporters of Trump and Joe Biden.

Twin siblings Steve and Sally Jones were both in line to vote for their very first time.

Sally Jones said she was motivated by Trump’s rush to fill the vacant Supreme Court position. “We really hope to grant the last wish of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is not to be replaced until a new president is in office,” she said.

Her brother Steve called it a “high stakes election year.”

Click to watch video 'Trump says he thinks 2020 presidential election will end in Supreme Court'

Trump says he thinks 2020 presidential election will end in Supreme Court

Trump says he thinks 2020 presidential election will end in Supreme Court

Political experts have warned that no single event is likely to outweigh the strong feelings most voters already have about the two presidential candidates. On the contrary, events like the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, simply add fuel to an already burning fire.

The story continues under the ad

“Interest in this election was already very high,” said Kyle Kondik, of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

“I think a lot of Democrats are more excited to vote against Trump than they are for Biden,” he added.

Don Kammer, a Republican volunteer in Fairfax County, admitted that supporters of both parties are motivated by the same thing, but for very different reasons.

“They want to do their due diligence as responsible citizens,” Kammer said. “I think a lot of the motivation comes from the fear of the future.”

The result is that so many people will be voting in advance, or by mail, that by the time Election Day arrives on November 3, Fairfax County estimates that the vast majority of eligible voters will have already voted.

“That only leaves about 30 percent of the turnout to go to the polls,” Scott said.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here