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ArlingtonDemocrats hope Sunday voting will help boost their turnout

Democrats hope Sunday voting will help boost their turnout

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With the prospect of razor-thin margins in statewide races looming on the horizon, the Arlington County Democratic Committee is hoping to get out the vote on a day that until now had been off-limits.

Arlington Electoral Board members earlier this year agreed to provide one day of in-person early voting on a Sunday, to be held this year Oct. 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ellen M. Bozman Government Center at Courthouse Plaza.

It will be a first for Arlington, and local Democrats (who pressed for it) do not want the opportunity to pass them by.

“We are going to be promoting Sunday voting – it enables more people to get to the polls. We want to make sure people have heard about it,” Arlington Democratic chair Jill Caiazzo said at the party’s Oct. 6 monthly meeting – its last before Election Day.

The county Electoral Board – comprising two Democrats and one Republican – earlier this year unanimously approved the Sunday-voting option. (Caiazzo’s husband, Matt Weinstein, serves as chairman of the Electoral Board and pressed for its adoption.)

All signs point to Arlington Democrats having local races – County Board, School Board and House of Delegates – well in hand. The party’s challenge will be to maximize turnout for the Democratic ticket for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, given that Virginia Republicans seem to be leading in enthusiasm, the polls are tight and even Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe has acknowledged that the current unpopularity of President Biden among Virginians could hurt the party’s chances for retaining the three statewide posts.

Promoting the Sunday option is one way Democrats can “really, really hit the ground hard,” Caiazzo said, warning that the upcoming election “could fly under the radar” among local voters.

In another ramping-up effort, local Democrats on Oct. 6 voted to appoint two precinct captains, bringing the ranks to nearly full strength.

Democrats like to have at least two and sometimes three captains for each of Arlington’s 54 precincts, to organize get-out-the-vote efforts and ensure that voters are handed a Democratic sample ballot when they turn up to vote.

Win, lose or draw, Arlington Democrats next will meet on Nov. 3, the day after the election.

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