Alexandria, VA

After a random selection process this morning (Wednesday), the Alexandria Office of Voter Registration and Elections has the order that candidate names will appear on the ballot for the June 8 democratic primary.

The first 11 candidates filed at the same time, and their order was determined by the Alexandria Electoral Board. The names were put in separate film canisters, which were put in a bowl and mixed around. The last two candidates were listed in the order that they filed their paperwork.

In-person absentee voting begins on Friday, April 23, which is 45 days before the June 8 primary. The registrar has sent off the names and currently waiting for approval from the Virginia State Board of Elections before creating a sample ballot, which will include mayoral candidates and candidates for statewide offices.

“Once that has been approved by the state we’ll produce those and get those published,” Alexandria Registrar Angela Turner told ALXnow.

Additionally, since the School Board is an independent body, their filing deadline for reelection is June 8.

The order for Council candidates on the ballot is below.

  1. Alyia Smith-Parker Gaskins
  2. Patrick B. Moran
  3. R. Kirk McPike
  4. John Taylor Chapman (incumbent)
  5. James C. Lewis, Jr.
  6. Amy B. Jackson (incumbent)
  7. Canek Aguirre (incumbent)
  8. William E. “Bill” Campbell
  9. Sarah R. Bagley
  10. Kevin J. Harris
  11. William C. “Bill” Rossello
  12. Meronne E. Teklu
  13. Mark Leo Shiffer

After June 8, the top six vote candidates will move on to the November general election, after which the recipient of the most votes will be named vice mayor-elect.

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Mayor Justin Wilson says that a study by a conservative activist group alleging that 105% of the city’s voting population is registered to vote is “BS”.

Wilson wrote that a Judicial Watch study incorrectly calculated U.S. Census data from the American Community Survey (ACS) when it listed the city’s citizen voting age population at 105%, with 109,889 total registered voters and a total of 104,975 eligible voters. The study was picked up by Republican gubernatorial candidate State Sen. Amanda Chase, who said on social media that there needs to be “absolute integrity in our state electoral system.”

“Reports of deceased people, cats, dogs, voters voting multiple times, ghost votes etc are being reported across the Commonwealth and our great country and it must be rooted out,” Chase wrote on Facebook.

The actual ACS totals show that the city’s population is 159,428, and that there are 130,253 residents old enough to vote. There are also 112,736 total registered voters in Alexandria (104,859 active registered voters and 7,877 inactive registered voters), according to Angie Maniglia Turner, the city’s general registrar and director of elections.

Turner said that Mayor Wilson’s numbers were correct. She said she was not aware of the claims by Chase or Judicial Watch when ALXnow called. Judicial Watch also posted a statement earlier this month by its President Tom Fitton that, “Joe Biden is not president-elect.”

“I’m not aware of cats or dogs voting or any type of incident,” Turner said. “We had three individuals who cast ballots prior to passing away, but that is not abnormal. At the time their ballots were cast they were active registered voters and their votes were counted.”

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Morning Notes

The Loop Opens in Old Town — “The Loop at 215 (located at 215 N. Payne St. in Old Town) is finally open now. The mission is to help companies and individuals ‘work better, be better, and do better.’ The co-working space has a mixture of serviced private offices and open flex workspaces.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Three ACPS Students are National Merit Scholar Finalists — “Earlier this month, the T.C. Williams High School seniors discovered they had all been named National Merit Scholarship semi finalists after outstanding results in the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test last October.” [ACPS]

Alexandria Voters Make Eclectic Write-In Choices — “But let’s be honest, you’re reading this to read about the weird votes. Kanye West was the most electable representative of the world of entertainment for Alexandria, receiving 17 votes for President (including one impressively misspelled as ‘Kanye Wert’) and one for Senate. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson received three votes, and Sterling, Virginia’s own Patton Oswalt received one vote for President, as did ‘Babe the Pig.'” [Washingtonian]

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What a week full of news in Alexandria.

With city offices closed due to Veterans Day on Wednesday, there were still a number of big stories.

For the second week in a row, our top story was on a fraudulent mailer that was sent out to a number of residents before election day. In the story, households with Joe Biden signs posted in front yards were sent letters with a Northern Virginia postage mark stating that Biden is a pedophile.

On Monday, we reported the third murder in the city this year. Yousef Tarek Omar, a 23-year-old Texas man, was shot to death in the West End on the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 7. Police have released few details of the incident, except the victim’s name, the general time of the incident and that it occurred in the 4800 block of W. Braddock Road.

City Councilwoman Del Pepper announced on Tuesday that she will not seek reelection. Pepper has been on the Alexandria City Council since 1985.

“There’s really not much to say,” Pepper told ALXnow. “There’s a time for everything, and I just felt this was my time. I have enjoyed every minute that I’ve served on the City Council.”

We also covered the city’s recovery plan for parts of the city devastated by the pandemic, and it lists a number of programs and strategies for impacted residents and businesses.

On the coronavirus front, Alexandria surpassed 4,500 cases since the beginning of the pandemic in March. The number of fatalities is still 76, and Latino residents have the highest number of infections.

Additionally, our weekly poll got a lot of attention this week. This week we asked about Thanksgiving plans, and 60% of respondents said they were eating at home with their household, 30% are planning a small gathering with at least one guest, and 10% are planning a large gathering of family/friends.

  1. Alexandrians with Joe Biden Yard Signs Get Anonymous Letters Saying Biden is a Pedophile
  2. BREAKING: 23-Year-Old Shot to Death in City’s Third Murder of the Year
  3. ‘Clyde’s at Mark Center’ and Other Businesses for Sale in Alexandria
  4. Del Ray Staple Al’s Steak House for Sale After Owner’s Death
  5. The Waypoint at Fairlington to Break Ground Next Month
  6. Councilwoman Del Pepper Announces She’s Not Running for Reelection
  7. City Council to Consider Publishing Names of Delinquent Real Estate Taxpayers
  8. Upcoming Signage Plan Could Subtly Shape New Potomac Yard Skyline
  9. One Person Injured in West End Carjacking
  10. Alexandria Parents Start #OpenACPS Sign Campaign as School System Begins Partial Reopening
  11. Alexandria Surpasses 4,500 Cases of COVID-19, Counts Now Rising at Summer Pace

Have a safe weekend!

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It was a historic week in Alexandria.

Alexandrians overwhelmingly helped reelect U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Congressman Don Beyer, and 80% of voters chose Democrat former Vice President Joe Biden for president over incumbent Republican President Donald Trump.

Out top story this week was election-related. It turns out that before election day several Alexandria households with Joe Biden signs were sent letters with a Northern Virginia postage mark stating that Biden is a pedophile. The Chair of the Alexandria Democratic Committee advised that anyone who receives such notes should call the police. The police, in turn, are sending along the information to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Additionally, 91 people participated in our weekly poll. This week we asked about election night plans, and 65% of respondents said they were staying home to watch the results, 24% had no eleciton night plans, 10% planned to protest that evening, and 1% were going to an election night event.

School News

Alexandria City Public Schools were back in action this week — sort of. While the ACPS opened in-person classes on Thursday, fewer than 10 students made it to class. There were about 60 students eligible to go back to school, since only kids with kindergarten through second graders with disabilities were allowed to attend Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School.

It was the first in-person public schooling in Alexandria since the pandemic shut down schools in March. ACPS plans to expand opening for all citywide special education students by December. Meanwhile, however, hundreds of parents want the school system to open and have started the #OpenACPS messaging campaign.

Also in school news, a two-year-long court battle was settled with the city and 15 Alexandria homeowners were settled regarding the addition of stadium lights to Parker-Gray Stadium at T.C. Williams High School.

The Week in Crime

The week started with news that there were two shootings in Alexandria over the weekend.

The was also the story of a 17-year-old on the run since last month after allegedly stealing a car in the West End. The juvenile, who later admitted stealing the car, was seen by the victim — a federal law enforcement officer — driving past his house, and the victim got into another of his cars and followed the suspect. The victim got the juvenile out of his car and held him at the scene until police arrived, and the juvenile left the area after being charged.

We also covered the story of the ‘Beltway Bank Bandit’. Freddie Lee McRae, 34, of Washington D.C., pleaded guilty to three counts of brandishing a firearm during a series of bank and shoe store robberies in and around Alexandria in 2018 and 2019. He will be sentenced on February 23, 2021, and faces up to life in prison and a mandatory minimum of 21 years in prison.

Health and Business

As of Friday there were 76 deaths attributed to the coronavirus in Alexandria, and the case count stands at 4,444, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Latino residents continue to lead the case count.

We also reported that longtime Del Ray staple, Al’s Steak House, is for sale since the owner passed away.

This week also saw fewer continued and initial unemployment claims in Alexandria.

Here are ALXnow’s top stories of the week in Alexandria:

  1. Alexandrians with Joe Biden Yard Signs Get Anonymous Letters Saying Biden is a Pedophile
  2. Del Ray Staple Al’s Steak House for Sale After Owner’s Death
  3. Republican Jeff Jordan Running Uphill Battle Against Incumbent Rep. Don Beyer
  4. Braddock West Project Headed to Planning Commission Later This Year
  5. Identity Released of Old Town North Suspect Killed in Shootout
  6. Soft Opening for New Chicken Joint in North Old Town Today
  7. Alexandria Parents Start #OpenACPS Sign Campaign as School System Begins Partial Reopening
  8. Juvenile Allegedly Steals Car and is Tracked Down by Victim in the West End
  9. BREAKING: Massive Power Outage Reported in Alexandria
  10. The Alexandria Drive-In Just Kicked Off an Encore Series on Halloween
  11. Did You Know: The Tall Ship Providence Encountered a Ghost Ship in 1777

Have a safe weekend!

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Voted 80% for Joe Biden — “The vote total in Alexandria, as of Wednesday morning, was 65,201 or 80.4 percent for Biden, the former Vice President; 14,251 voted for Trump.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Reaches Complete Count in 2020 U.S. Census — ” The Bureau’s Crystal City Area Census Office, which includes all of Alexandria, was the only such office in the Washington, D.C. metro region to count 100% of households by the time data collection ended on October 15. Because almost 74% of Alexandria households completed the census questionnaire by mail or online, census workers had to visit fewer households in person.” [City of Alexandria]

Here’s Updated COVID-19 Guidance from Alexandria — “Everyone has a role in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Take immediate action by wearing a mask, reducing unnecessary travel, maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance from others and staying home when sick. Below are specific guidance and resources based on setting or need.” [City of Alexandria]

Vegan PLNT Burger Restaurant Opens Inside Whole Foods — “Co-founder and chief culinary director for PLNT Burger, Spike Mendelsohn (of ‘Top Chef’ fame) was in town recently to open the hip new vegan burger joint inside the Whole Foods store at 1700 Duke Street and on opening day gave away 100 free burgers to the first people in line.” [Zebra]

Waterskiing Santa Going Virtual This Year — “The show was originally scheduled to run on Christmas Eve this year but organizers announced that they decided to cancel the live event for safety reasons. Instead, a recording will be available for viewing on Dec. 20 so families can “stay home, get some hot chocolate and popcorn and cozy up while watching the Waterskiing Santa,” organizers said on the event’s Facebook page.” [Alexandria Living]

Today’s Weather — “Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 69F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Partly to mostly cloudy (at night). Low 48F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Scholarship Program Assistant — “The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, a national nonprofit in Alexandria, Virginia, seeks a Scholarship Program Assistant to become part of the Scholarship Program team. The Scholarship Program Assistant works closely with the Assistant Director, Scholarship Programs to support the needs of the department and the \Foundation and its various stakeholders. S/he is responsible for supporting the Department in an overall administrative capacity and to provide support in the day-to-day functions of the Department and team.” [Indeed]

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Morning Notes

Virtual Opening Thursday for New Alexandria Townhomes — “Winchester Homes will host a virtual grand opening Thursday, Nov. 5, for Bren Pointe, a new 97-unit townhome community opening in Alexandria.” [Alexandria Living]

Indoor Sports Leagues Cancelled for 2021 Winter Season — “All indoor leagues organized by the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities (RPCA) are cancelled, including youth and adult basketball, adult volleyball, youth sports affiliate Alexandria Soccer Association’s indoor futsal league, and social sport gymnasium rentals. Small group sports classes, which are lower risk activities, will continue and will follow federal, state, and local guidelines for the safety of participants and staff. ” [City of Alexandria]

City Council to Hold Virtual Budget and Planning Retreat — “The Alexandria City Council will hold a virtual retreat meeting on November 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., to discuss the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Operating Budget process and develop the City Council Work Program for calendar year 2021.” [City of Alexandria]

Alexandrian Gets His 70-year-old Mom to Vote for the First Time –“I want [Joe] Biden because he cares about the people. Trump doesn’t care about us. He thinks this virus is just going to go away. This world is chaos. This world is nuts.” [Washington Post]

Free Flu Shots Available — “Now is the time to get a flu shot! Get info on Inova Cares Clinic for Families FREE flu shot clinics for uninsured people this month (first Alexandria clinic is Nov. 4) and low-cost shots to eligible residents at the Alexandria Health Department at alexandriava.gov/115055.” [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — “Sunny skies (during the day). High 67F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Mostly clear (in the evening). Low 46F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]

New Job: Member Service Representative — “The Member Service Representative position plays a key role in support of the YMCA mission by ensuring the reliable and consistent delivery of outstanding customer service to members and guests at the front desk at YMCA Alexandria, located at 420 E. Monroe Ave. Alexandria, VA. This is a great part time position with a varied work schedule.” [Indeed]

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Updated at 9 p.m. — U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Alexandria’s Congressman Don Beyer have won reelection.

With 2,241 of 2,285 precincts reporting, Warner appeared to be down 43% to 57% against his opponent Republican Daniel Gade, although NPR called the race for Warner shortly after polls closed.

The Associated Press called the race for Beyer at 8:10 p.m.

Beyer defeated Republican Jeff Jordan to retain his seat for a fourth term. With 141 out of 171 precincts reporting, Beyer led with 129,088 votes (71.3%) to Jordan’s 51,647 votes (28%), according to the Virginia Department of Elections.

Mayor Justin Wilson Congratulated Beyer on social media.

But it might take time to determine the outcome of some races.

“Absentee ballots may be accepted until noon on November 6th. Therefore, results are incomplete,” according to the Alexandria Office of Elections. “Results will be certified on November 16th.”

There have been 65,000 absentee ballots collected in Alexandria so far, and the deadline for the Office of Elections to count those ballots is Friday, and they have to submit the official results to the Virginia State Board of Elections by next Tuesday.

See earlier election coverage below the jump.

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Homegrown Restaurant Group is donating lunch to all election officials in Alexandria today.

With 30 polling stations in the city, that’s about 600 lunches.

“There’s all this nervous energy and we’re all at home today, anxiously awaiting,” said Chelsea Anderson, marketing director for the Homegrown Restaurant Group. “This is probably the most controversial election of all of our lives, and it’s nice to get out and expend some of that energy on some bipartisan good.”

Anderson has been delivering meals to polling precincts all day, and was briefly aided in the morning by Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson.

Homegrown Restaurant Group owns Pork Barrel BBQHoly Cow Del RayThe Sushi BarWhisky & OysterSweet Fire Donna’s and Tequila & Taco.

According to Anderson, the story goes that Group owners Mike Anderson and Bill Blackburn were discussing how they could help during the election. Blackburn wanted to volunteer at a polling place, but has two young kids at home and couldn’t devote the time. So, he recommended to Anderson that they contribute food from Pork Barrel BBQ to the poll workers at Mount Vernon Community School. Mike Anderson then upped the ante and suggested donating meals to every poll worker in the city.

“We just divvied up the meals between the restaurants, and we got a couple volunteers,” Anderson said. “Danielle, my older sister who is in the family business, she delivered lunches; our executive chef Mason from Whisky & Oyster delivered lunches; Jim Miller from Pork Barrel; Bill (Blackburn); Mike and Donna (Anderson), and we even had some help from Justin Wilson, as well.”

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It’s election day, November 3, 2020. Here’s what you need to know about voting today in Alexandria.

On the ballot for Nov. 3 is the race for president and vice president, a U.S. Senate and Congressional seat and two proposed Constitutional Amendments.

The polls opened at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. More than 50% of Alexandria voters have cast their ballots so far, and the Alexandria results and statewide results will be posted after polls close tonight.

Need a ride to vote? Both the Alexandria Democratic Committee (703-549-3367) and Alexandria GOP (571-281-7042) will drive you to the polls.

What To Expect At The Polls

Voters on November 3 should expect to find foot markers to encourage social distancing inside and outside polling precincts.

Additionally:

  • Polling officers will be separated from voters by plexiglass, and will not touch any identification
  • Voters will be required to wear face masks, and the Alexandria Medical Reserve Corps will be on-hand to make sure masks are worn properly. They will also have free masks
  • Voters who can’t go into a polling precinct can vote curbside
  • Ballots will be placed in one-time use manila folders

Polling Place Changes

See a sample ballot below the jump.

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