Voter Turnout a Likely Record; Registration Up 11 Percent

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Byline: Christina Bellantoni, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Virginia's voters appear bound for the polls in record numbers tomorrow - if this year's record jump in voter registration and demand for absentee ballots is any indicator.

There are 400,000 more voters on the rolls in Virginia this year than in the 2000 election - an 11 percent increase. Nearly 65,000 of them registered in the final three days before the Oct. 4 deadline.

More than 223,000 people applied for mail-in absentee ballots this year. In 2000, Virginians cast more than 150,000 absentee ballots.

Voters will decide the outcome of 10 of 11 congressional races, and several county board contests.

In Northern Virginia, U.S. Rep. James P. Moran, a Democrat, is seeking to win his eighth term representing the heavily Democratic 8th District. Mr. Moran, 59, faces a challenge from Republican Lisa Marie Cheney, 39.

Mrs. Cheney says Mr. Moran must be ousted from office because he has embarrassed the district with his behavior, including comments last year about the Jewish community and the war in Iraq.

Mr. Moran says his votes are in line with the constituents in his district, which includes Arlington County, the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County.

Mr. Moran is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which crafts the federal budget. Mrs. Cheney, who is not related to Vice President Dick Cheney, is a lifelong Alexandria resident who owns a government-relations firm specializing in missile defense.

Activist James T. Hurysz, 57, of Arlington, is running as an independent. A self-employed quality assurance consultant for manufacturing companies, Mr. Hurysz had mounted several unsuccessful bids for the Arlington County Board.

Mr. Moran faced his first formidable challenge in the Democratic primary in June. Andrew Rosenberg, who is Jewish, captured about 40 percent of the vote. Mr. Rosenberg has not returned calls asking whom he plans to endorse in the race.

Rep. Frank R. Wolf, a Republican, faces a challenge from former investment banker James Socas, a Democrat from California, in the heavily Republican 10th District.

Mr. Wolf, 65, who has served 12 terms, says the district needs his experience. He serves on the House Appropriations Committee and is chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on commerce, justice, state and judiciary.

Mr. Socas, 38, says Mr. Wolf is too conservative and out of touch with the changing demographic of the district, which includes Clarke, Loudoun, Frederick and Warren counties; the cities of Manassas, Manassas Park and Winchester; and parts of Fairfax, Fauquier and Prince William counties.

Mr. Socas, a University of Virginia graduate, has been criticized in television ads for not owning a home in the state. …