With midterm election voter turnout across the nation heralded as “massive” — 48 percent of the voting-eligible population casting ballots this past week, the highest number since 1966 — then in Rappahannock County it might as well be labeled “gargantuan.”
Get a load of these polling numbers, and then pat yourselves on the back for standing out among other counties in Virginia and across the country for being civic-minded and exercising your right to vote:
Chester Gap: 63 percent (330 of 528 voters)
Sperryville: 61 percent (663 of 1093 voters)
Amissville: 61 percent (713 of 1173 voters)
Washington: 59 percent turnout (733 of 1243 voters)
Flint Hill: 59 percent (401 of 684 voters)
Castleton: 55 percent (618 of 1126 voters)
Take into account that many Rappahannock voters last Tuesday ventured to the polls with sheets of rain falling.
Compared to previous midterms, 51 percent of eligible Rappahannock voters — more than half — cast ballots in 2014, with 48 percent showing up in 2010. But even these turnouts were impressive when stacked against voter participation in the U.S. and Virginia, including locally.
Take Culpeper County, when in 2014 just 36 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. Turnout that same midterm was a dismal 31 percent in Page County, 33 percent in Warren County, and 42 percent in Madison.
As for the entire state, 41 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in 2014, and 44 percent voted in 2010. Turnout was only 31 percent in Virginia for the 2002 midterms.
This year was different. The impressive 2018 midterms marked the first time in U.S. history that more than 100 million votes were cast. All told, an estimated 113 million Americans voted.