I usually complain about the fact that, thanks to a general consolidation of "American" popular culture that has been brought about by decades of New York- and California-dominated media (and yes, I include our beloved national news networks in this trend), that we're losing some of the character of what makes us "Virginians." Sadly, things like this little snafu do little to dispel my discomfort:
Hundreds of confused Virginians and some Marylanders jumped the gun yesterday, showing up at polls or calling election officials to find out where to cast ballots, even though the presidential primary is next week.The future of Virginia? I shudder at the thought.
Virginia and Maryland were not among the 24 Super Tuesday states that voted yesterday, but that word apparently did not make it to some voters. Virginia, Maryland and the District vote on the 12th.
More than 700 people called the Virginia State Board of Elections to ask, "Why aren't my polls opened, and where do I go to vote?" said Susan S. Pollard, a spokeswoman for the board. On a typical day, the board fields 150 to 200 calls.
The Fairfax County elections board was getting about five calls an hour yesterday morning from voters asking where they should go vote.
"To receive so many calls asking about Super Tuesday and when do we vote in Virginia is unheard of," Pollard said. "Granted, we have to wait and see, but I think turnout [next Tuesday] will be a bit more than people originally anticipated."