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Voter Turnout Down in Every District

Of all registered voters in the city, 7.7 percent voted in Tuesday's election.

Citywide voter turnout dropped by 2.74 percentage points on Tuesday from where it was two years ago.

Of all registered voters in the city, just 7.7 percent showed up at the polls, or submitted absentee or provisional ballots, as compared with 10.44 percent in 2009.

Two uncontested district races dragged down the citywide voter turnout. In District 2, where Robert Catlin and Monroe Dennis ran unopposed, 2.09 percent of registered voters participated in Tuesday's election. In District 4, where Marcus Afzali and Denise Mitchell ran unopposed, just 2.36 percent of voters cast ballots.

Those are the lowest voter turnout numbers for individual districts in recent years, despite 18 uncontested district races between 1993 and 2009.

Although there were three-person races in districts 1 and 3, both saw slight drops in turnout. District 1 fell from 16.68 percent in 2009, to 14.7 percent. District 3 fell from 11.01 percent in 2009 to 10.66 percent.

Chief of the Board of Election Supervisors Jack Robson , as students might register to vote then move out of the city.

For more on the elections, visit the Patch Election Page.

Richard November 14, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Patrick - I'm glad to hear that the rent control may end as would many other people I have observed in Patch forums and in conversing with in person. I think this idea of favoring the high-rises with their big-time investors over the little guys is just unfair whether the court challenge worked or not. Was it appealed? The council seems to sell the rent control idea as a way of preventing slum lords from taking over the community and over running us with undesirables (a.k.a. students). The fact is that most of these vacant houses were once investments used as rentals, but when the housing market skyrocketed any owner would have been a fool not to sell. The homes here were going up as high as $100,000 per year. There was no way a land lord would get that much in rent in a short time. So these rentals were sold, unfortunately, to unqualified buyers. Now the owners are gone because the couldn't make the payments. If these homes cant find owner occupiers then let an investor turn them in to the rentals they once were.
Richard November 14, 2011 at 01:46 AM
Wasn't the idea of the high-rises was to get more students within walking distance of the campus instead of driving in from places like Laurel? I have heard from several students that there is not only a shortage of rentals but they can't afford them either. AS for where I got the information about decrease home values? I don't have definitive source but the news has been reporting that the D.C. area has seen improved home values above the national average. As for C.P. or P.G. County? I admit I am repeating what many other have said in this and other articles, plus what the realtors are reporting. This Washington Post application might shed some light: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/real-estate-map/
Robert Catlin November 14, 2011 at 10:34 AM
There are about 33 significant zip codes in the county. Throughout the 1990s, up to about 2002, the median sales price for homes in the 20740 zip code were about the 16th highest in the county. By about 2007 we had moved up in rank to the 10th highest price. That was remarkable given that thousands of high priced new homes were being sold each year in the county in many of the other county zip codes. By 2010 we returned to 16th place in the county and once again have a median sales price that is very close to the county's median sales price.
Richard November 14, 2011 at 12:45 PM
Thanks, Robert. So, with the rent control being initiated in 2005/2006 at 1% assessed value and going down gradually to 0.6% assessed value in 2009, it could be debated that it has caused the homes to become an unattractive investment thus keeping investors out and decreasing the field of eligible buyers and driving the home prices back to the 16TH highest in the county from the 10TH. I looked into buying some homes on my own street, but at 0.6%, it wouldn't even cover the mortgage payments. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-city council. At a recent presentation in West CP, some council members talked of some good things like a charter school involving the University. The demolition of some buildings along Rt 1 was discussed as well as the use of neighborhood security cameras. But, Mr. Havis' original comment about the speed cameras and rent control has angered many people, and the city seems to want to hunker down and hope the issues fade away.
Robert Catlin November 14, 2011 at 01:03 PM
The limit on new home rental rates are the GREATER of (1) the HUD Fair Market Rent for the DC area (about $2500/mo) or (2) 0.6% of assessed value. A city council vote to raise the percentage rate to 0.8% (to reflect the reduction in assesed values) failed about 18 months ago. Even so I don't often see a home north of Paint Branch Parkway where an 0.8% valuation would yield a rent above $2,500.

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