Tuesday’s general election in the District was a rainy affair with no surprises — except for a surge in voter turnout.
With 133 of 143 precincts reporting, Mayor Muriel Bowser secured her re-election bid with 150,908 votes (76.15 percent). Libertarian challenger Martin Moulton won 6,667 votes (3.36 percent), and State Green Party candidate Ann Wilcox garnered 18,651 votes (9.41 percent). Dustin Canter, an independent, had 13,770 votes (6.95 percent).
In the race for D.C. Council chairman, Democratic incumbent Phil Mendelson won 175,409 votes (89.11 percent), and Libertarian challenger Ethan Bishop-Henchman had 16,496 votes (8.38 percent).
“I’m 53 years old and this is the first time I voted,” said Yolanda, a Ward 5 voter who said she was motivated to the polls this year out of frustration with the Trump administration. But she cast a reluctant vote for Miss Bowser, saying, “I think she’s more for the rich.”
As of 10:10 p.m. Tuesday the D.C. Board of Elections reported that about 40.76 percent of the District’s 500,511 registered voters had cast ballots in the general election.
The total number of ballots — 204,023 — is more than double the number cast in the June primaries, but far below the 312,575 ballots cast in the 2016 general election. More than 51,000 D.C. residents voted early for this year’s election, compared to 101,000 early voters two years ago.
“I am not enthused about the degree Bowser allowed developers to run this city,” said Kathleen Brown, 59, at the Eastern Market precinct. “And I don’t like the way she’s treated [D.C. Council member Elissa] Silverman.”
Attitudes about Miss Bowser have driven the contentious at-large council race between Ms. Silverman, an at-large independent who wrote a series of progressive legislation including paid family leave, and independent challenger Dionne Reeder, who ran on a pro-business platform backed by the mayor.
Ms. Silverman received 80,623 votes (26.53 percent), and fellow incumbent Anita Bonds, a Democrat, got 134,806 votes (44.36 percent).
Ms. Reeder collected 43,941 votes (14.46 percent), and fellow independent challenger Rustin Lewis got 7,456 votes (2.45 percent). Republican challenger Ralph Chittams had 11,013 votes (3.62 percent), and State Green Party candidate David Schwartzman collected 23,398 votes (7.7 percent).
Another Chevy Chase precinct voter, Vera Sky, 78, said she couldn’t decide between the two candidates so voted for both.
One thing all D.C. voters who spoke to The Times mentioned was anger over a lack of Congressional representation as frustration mounts with the Trump administration.
Zach Bluestone said he felt “underwhelmed” after casting his ballot in Chevy Chase with Abby Bluestone, his wife, who said they only voted to show the process to their children Leena, 6, and Violet, 3, along. “Going with them was the most exciting part,” said Mrs. Bluestone.
“Our country is about having a representative democracy and we’re denied representatives,” said political analyst Rob Bunning after casting his ballot. “It’s sad.”
Voters waited in long lines at several precincts as turnout exceeded city expectations, but Eastern Market’s North Hall experienced lines so long one poll worker compared it to “a can of sardines.”
Lines were caused by the precinct operating with only one working ballot machine for most of the day. The Times saw a Board of Election employee opening the machine to insert ballots by hand and reshuffle ballots when the feeder system jammed. Board of Election spokeswoman Rachel Coll said that was “not the preferred way” to submit ballots.
In Ward 1, council member Brianne Nadeau, a Democrat, won 21,112 votes (78.29 percent), and independent challenger Jamie Sycamore received 5,623 votes (20.85 percent).
In Ward 3, Democratic council member Mary Cheh garnered 19,002 votes (74.14 percent), and independent challenger Petar Dimtchev collected 6,453 votes (25.18 percent).
In Ward 5, council member Kenyan McDuffie, a Democrat, had 20,540 votes (79.41 percent), and State Green Party candidate Joyce Robinson-Paul got 1,797 votes (6.95 percent). Independent challenger Amone Banks received 918 votes (3.55 percent) and fellow independent candidate Kathy Henderson collected 2,166 votes (8.37 percent).
In Ward 6, Democratic council member Charles Allen had 34,010 votes (88.4 percent), and Republican challenger Michael Bekesha received 4,040 votes (10.5 percent).