Mayoral candidate and Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans arrived just before 1 p.m. at Ward 6’s Kennedy Recreation Center in Shaw to talk to voters. The only problem: There were none.
“There’s no voters,” he said, raising his hands.
Skip Coburn, head of the D.C. Nightlife Association, was out in front of the polling center wearing a Ward 6 Council candidate Charles Allen shirt. He said that as of 1 p.m., only about 260 people had shown up to vote—-an all-time low in his experience of volunteering during elections. Anecdotally, this appears to be the trend across much of the city today, while early voting numbers were way down this year from previous elections. Even Evans says he went to two polling locations in Ward 3 where there were no voters. (Except, at one of them, shadow Sen. Paul Strauss‘ wife, Evans said.)
But Evans, who was polling at 13 percent in last week’s Washington City Paper/Kojo Nnamdi poll, said he’s not worried. He went to every precinct in Ward 2, and says his voter base showed up to vote for him.
“Our strategy has been to get our 30 to 40,000 Evans voters out,” he says. “I think we got a shot it.”
That remains to be seen. But mayoral candidate and Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, who in some polls is in a fight for third place with Evans, was also optimistic today, saying there’s been “a lot of late-breaking momentum.”
If Ward 6 and infrequent voters come out to vote, he says he thinks he also has a chance.
“Winning [is the goal]” he says. “Anything else is not the goal.”
Wells was able to talk to the scarce voters at his Eastern Market polling location this morning. One voter came up to him and said he had not decided whether to vote for Wells or Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser. “She’s more status quo…I’m more of a progressive Democrat,” Wells said. “If you are OK with the status quo, then vote for her.” The voter didn’t say if he’d been swayed.
The candidates will learn their fates tonight at their election parties. Evans said his party at Stoney’s Lounge at 14th and P streets NW promises to be the best candidates soiree. “Wells’ is probably at some vegetarian place,” Evans said.
Photo by Perry Stein.