LTE: Absentee Voting Experience

Leesburg mayoral candidate Linda Shotton shares her thoughts from last weekend's visit at the Board of Elections office.

Dear Editor,

Absentee voting turned out a steady stream of traffic at the Loudoun County Board of Elections office on Miller Drive in Leesburg after being closed for the duration of Hurricane Sandy. Voting hours were extended until 8 p.m. to allow voters access.

As a candidate for mayor of Leesburg, endorsed by the Loudoun County Republican Committee, I provided sample ballots to voters, of course with the Republican highlights.  

I worked Thursday afternoon and evening, Friday and Saturday all day with a couple of breaks. There was a consistent flow of voters.  

The Leesburg office, run by General Registrar Judy Brown did a fantastic job with the amount of traffic. Voters, even at the busiest, were in and out in less than 30 minutes.

The general comment from voters was how efficiently the process was run. By Saturday afternoon, we had several voters who came all the way from Sterling, as the Cascades polling site was running to two hours (according to the folks who made the drive). Kudos to the staff and volunteers who had voters leaving with smiles on their faces. 
I would also like to mention the fabulous discourse between those working the polls. Democrats and Republicans alike, aside from an unfortunate few, were incredibly polite, and willing to converse on issues without rancor. Even the time my opponent, Mayor Umstattd, and I were working on opposite sides of the sidewalk was pleasant and informative.  

The biggest bit of non-partisan effort came at the end of the very chilly Saturday when the polls closed at 6 p.m. Dave Butler, running for re-election to his Leesburg Town Council seat, endorsed by the LCDC, Evan MacBeth, Chair of the LCDC, myself, and and independent volunteer worker were left at the polls with dozens of political signs to take down and stow in vehicles. Without a thought, all workers began to take down all signs, making piles of each candidate.  

No items were destroyed by opposing parties, all items treated with respect, even knowing that these very signs will be placed at polling sites around town on Tuesday. It was the effort of people who cared enough to stand up and work for their beliefs while remembering others have that same right.  

Leesburg is a great town, and it was incredibly heartening to know that we can work together. 

Linda Shotton
Mayoral Candidate, Leesburg Town Council


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