Centreville voters headed to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots in the GOP primary elections along with the rest of the state, but local participation early in the day was predictably lackluster.
"We've had a very low turnout; only 81 voters," said chief election officer Pat Mallon at the Deer Park precinct, close to 2 p.m.
Outside, Theresa Caffey, a volunteer with the Fairfax County Republican Committee, handed out fliers with general information about the GOP, to reach the core constituents who were today.
"I wish there was a lot of information given out about the candidates," said Caffey, who said she voted for Allen, but didn't feel like there was much publicity surrounding the current election.
Turnout at most Sully District precincts was confined to the low single digits. A sampling of precinct turnout as of 2 p.m.:
- Centre Ridge: 1.3 percent
- Cub Run: 1 percent
- Virginia Run: 2.1 percent
- Stone North 1.4 percent
- Centreville: 1.5 percent
Meanwhile, the candidates continued last-minute campaigning for the open U.S. Senate seat. Former senator and Gov. and wife greeted voters Tuesday morning at Washington Mill Elementary School, a precinct near their home in Mount Vernon.
“Well, our goal obviously is to win and the bigger the turnout the better," Allen said. "I think most people recognize that the larger the turnout the stronger it’ll be for us. We have a lot of support through Virginia because people know me.
"I had the honor of serving Virginians in the U.S. Senate, as well as governor, and I know the communities and the people, and that’s not something that’s easily done just in a year of campaigning," Allen said. "We have good friendships and relationships throughout Virginia, so the bigger the turnout, the better it’ll be for us. We’re cautiously optimistic.”
Allen faces competition in today's Republican primary for the U.S. Senate from three challengers: tea party member , minister and state Del. of Prince William County.
The Allens planned to visit other precincts around Northern Virginia before heading to a rally in Richmond tonight to await results of the primary.
In Prince William County, Marshall stepped out of his white Ford Crown Victoria and slowly strolled up the sidewalk of Signal Hill Elementary School in Manassas to cast his ballot at his home precinct in the Republican primary.
“I’m satisfied with what time I had; I can’t tell who’s voting. This is like flying blind with no instruments or anything,” Marshall said of his campaign. “I had a lot of volunteers around Virginia, but clearly we didn’t have the money that (Republican U.S. Senate candidate) George Allen did, but this— at least the way it looks like it's turning out—is a campaign of intensity, not one of name ID. We’ll find out at 7 o'clock tonight how accurate that is.”
Patch will have results of the primary elections tonight and specific local precinct voting information on Wednesday.