The Wash

Rain is no obstacle for DC voters in crucial midterm election

At Wesley United Methodist Church in the District, heavy rain on Tuesday failed to deter residents from turning out to vote in an election that will determine which party controls Congress

Volunteers at the polling place in the Chevy Chase neighborhood helped a mix of young and old voters cast their ballots.

D.C. Board of Elections volunteer Bonnie VanDorn, 70, said she was happy with the significant voter turnout, despite the bad weather. She said 166 people voted in the first hour the polls were open and 100 people voted every hour after that.

Signs at the Wesley United Methodist Church polling station (Whitney Petralia / The Wash)

“This polling center typically gets a lot of voters because it’s in an older neighborhood,” VanDorn said. “Older people tend to vote more than younger people.”

Although most voters were older, voting stations also saw young people, including American University student Nicolette Parozza.

“Honestly, voting in D.C. kind of feels a little useless, just because you know that all Democratic candidates are going to win. But, it’s your civic duty,” said Parozza, 22.

She said the turnout made her “hopeful.”

“As all the numbers have shown, a lot of people have been coming out, especially in early voting,” Parozza said. 

Multilingual signs direct voters at polling stations. (Whitney Petralia / The Wash)

Longtime voter Scott Zupan said he was thrilled to be voting in another election.

“I think voting is more important now than ever,” he said. “So many people complain about the government, but don’t get out and vote. Nothing will change if people don’t exercise their right.”

VanDorn praised Washington, D.C., for the variety of voting options it provides. About 52,510 residents cast their ballots at one of 14 early voting centers between Oct. 22 and Nov. 2, D.C. Board of Elections data show. Voters could also submit absentee ballots.

D.C. has same-day registration and does not require residents to show identification to vote.

“People are excited about this election,” VanDorn said. “They want to see change.”

Whitney Petralia

Whitney Petralia

Former Political Science Major easing into the Political Journalism World. I'm a graduate of Boston College and currently pursuing my master's in Broadcast Journalism from American University.

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