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Tysons gets new voting precinct in Fairfax County’s proposed polling place changes

An absentee ballot drop box (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Each election cycle requires some tweaks to Fairfax County’s polling precincts, and 2023 will be no exception.

This year’s proposed revisions aren’t quite as intensive as 2022’s, which affected over half of the county’s precincts to account for redistricting changes. However, they’ll still have an impact on hundreds of voters in a year when nearly all key state and local offices will be on the ballot.

According to a staff memo, Tysons has grown enough to need two polling places. With the Tysons precinct now exceeding 5,000 registered voters, the county recommends splitting it up to create a new “Jones Branch” precinct.

The Jones Branch precinct will take over the existing polling place in the Providence Committee meeting room (7921 Jones Branch Road). Staff have proposed relocating the Tysons polling place to The PARC at Tysons (8508 Leesburg Pike), the county-owned events venue that replaced the Container Store.

“This building is well-situated in the Tysons precinct…and will accommodate the continued growth in this area,” staff said in the agenda for last week’s Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting.

It costs the county $23,865 to add a precinct, a price tag that covers voting equipment, election supplies and notices to affected voters. There’s also an annual cost of $4,800 per year to staff the new precinct with the election officers for at least two elections.

Also in the Providence District, the county suggests renaming the Oak Marr precinct to “Oaktree Crossing,” since the polling site is no longer in the Oak Marr Rec Center.

The polling place was relocated to the Oakton Library in March 2021 “to provide the 4,000 voters a more accessible voting location,” according to staff. The Oak Marr Rec Center now hosts a different, small precinct called Island Pond that was created after redistricting.

Nearby, the Difficult Run precinct in Oakton is permanently moving to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax (2709 Hunter Mill Road) after getting relocated there temporarily last year when its previous site became unavailable.

The church already has a polling place for the Oakton precinct, but it will have “separate voting rooms” for each precinct, per the staff memo.

The county is also considering moving the precinct Spindle #2 out of the Centreville Regional Library, where it’s currently co-located with Spindle #1. The polling place would be relocated to Bull Run Elementary School and renamed “Robinson Mill.”

Staff recommends the change after the county’s election team “reported that the library cannot logistically support colocated precincts” based on last November’s election.

Finally, the county intends to rename the Franconia #1 and #2 precincts as Edison #1 and #2, since they’re both located in Edison High School.

“This name change will avoid voter confusion resulting from the renaming of the magisterial district from Lee to Franconia,” staff said.

As authorized by the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 21, a public hearing on the proposed changes will be held at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7.

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