Update (12:02 a.m. Wednesday): Incumbent Republican Del. Barbara Comstock will serve a third term in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Comstock beat Democrat Kathleen Murphy by 429 votes, according to unofficial results from the State Board of Elections — about the same number of votes that first put her in office four years ago.
Comstock won 14,935 votes on Tuesday, or 50.66 percent of the vote, compared to Murphy's 14,504 votes, or 49.2 percent.
Update (2:02 p.m. Tuesday): The old saying that "all politics is local" doesn't hit any closer to home than it did Tuesday at Langley High School in McLean, where Sally Burns was stationed since 7:30 a.m. asking people to vote for her daughter, incumbent Republican Del. Barbara Comstock.
The school is the polling place for the Chain Bridge and Langley precincts, the latter of which is Burns' and Comstock's home precinct.
"I've had a lot of people who have said, 'I'm voting for the Democratic ticket — except for your daughter. I'm voting for her,' " Burns told Patch before listing some of the constituent services and local issues Comstock has worked on for the past four years. "They like her."
Just a few steps away — and a little further from the door — the Dranesville District Democratic Committee had its own table set up.
"They set theirs up overnight," said Jay Reddy, the local Democrats' captain for the Chain Bridge Precinct. He was handing out sample ballots and literature for the Democratic candidates, from gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe to Comstock's challenger, Kathleen Murphy.
"We expect that there's going to be McAuliffe-Comstock voters," he said. "We don't think it will be 1-to-1."
The hard-fought local race is just one reason voters went to the polls. Around lunchtime, about 1,200 people had voted at Langley High School.
Like many elections, turnout was driven as much to vote against someone as it was to vote for someone. McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli have spent the last year slinging mud and neither man enjoys high favorable ratings.
Craig Whitesell, a Langley graduate, said access to women's healthcare was an important issue to him and that he voted "just to make sure the Republicans stay out of the state government."
"I have a very strong negative reaction to the tea party, and I think Cuccinelli is a little too close to that," said Christy Larsen of McLean. "So even though I wasn't thrilled with either candidate, I chose the lesser of two evils."
Pam Wagner said she was frustrated with both major-party candidates running for governor and cast her ballot for Libertarian Robert Sarvis.
"I've lived in Virginia my whole life," Wagner told Patch. "And I'm embarrassed to be a Virginian because of the people running for governor."
Amanda Bridges, the chief election officer for the Langley Precinct, said turnout was "pretty good" and she expected numbers to steadily increase through the rest of the day.
"I like being part of the Democratic process," Bridges said. "It makes me feel involved."
Original article (5:45 a.m. Tuesday): A McLean resident may be running for the Governor's Office, but it's a local House of Delegates race that's perhaps the hottest item for McLean voters casting ballots today.
Incumbent Republican Del. Barbara Comstock and Democrat Kathleen Murphy have been locked in a heated — and expensive — battle to represent the state's 34th House District.
Comstock was first elected to the state House of Delegates in 2009 by a little more than 400 votes. She was re-elected in 2011 by a comfortable 10 percentage point margin.
But some groups see her as vulnerable, with gun control advocates in particular attacking her votes to allow concealed weapon permit holders to carry guns in bars (though it is illegal to drink while doing so) and to eliminate this state's ban on buying one gun per month.
The interest is so great that the mere presence of gun control advocates at a Great Falls candidate forum in October was enough for organizers to postpone the event. (It was later held on a Friday night.)
The race has piqued the interest of a liberal group founded by former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean that is trying to swing red districts to blue across the country.
And it's become one of the more costly races in Virginia this election cycle — nearly $1.6 million has been spent so far this election cycle, about four times the average in a House race in this state, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
Among individual contributions, Comstock has outraised Murphy nearly 2-to-1.
Voters in other parts of the greater McLean area will decide races in the 35th House District between incumbent Democratic Del. Mark Keam and Republican Leiann Luse, and the 53rd House District, a seat being vacated by Democratic Del. Jim Scott. Democrat Marcus Simon, Republican Brad Tidwell and Libertarian Anthony Tellez square off in that race.
Over in the 48th House District, which includes part of Arlington County, Democratic Del. Bob Brink is running unopposed.
Voters across Fairfax County will also elect a new sheriff.
Finally, Fairfax County residents will see a school bond referendum on the ballot. For an in-depth look, click here.