Higher than normal voter turnout
37.5 percent of Petersburg voters cast ballots
PETERSBURG — Voter turnout in Petersburg enjoyed a significant bump during last week’s elections. According to the Virginia Department of Elections, as of August 2016, there are 21,702 registered voters in Petersburg. Tammy Alexander of the Petersburg Electoral Board said that approximately 37.5 percent of those registered voters turned out for the 2017 election, which is the highest turnout for a non-presidential election since 2005. Alexander noted that the voter turnout is normally much higher for presidential elections. By comparison, in the 2016 presidential election, the turnout was 62.6 percent in Petersburg.
“It’s definitely good for a gubernatorial year,” said Alexander.
Alexander noted the elections office was
“quite pleased” and joked that there were several moments where they thought they might run out of ballots, though they did not.
In terms of total amount of votes cast in Petersburg, the governor’s race was at the top, with 8,167 total votes cast. The Attorney General’s race was a close second with 8,102 total votes, followed by the Lieutenant Governor’s race with 8,074.
For local contested elections, the sheriff’s race had a total of 7,966 votes cast, and the Treasurer’s race had 7,917 total votes cast.
Despite the controversies with the Treasurer’s office that have occurred
over the past several years, the total votes cast was only a little bit higher than it was in 2013, going up by 445 total votes.
In the governor’s race, Democratic candidate and eventual winner Ralph Northam received 7,164 votes, Republican candidate Ed Gillespie received 938. Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra received 56 votes, along with 9 write-in
Across the commonwealth, voter turnout was up approximately 16 percent compared to the 2013 gubernatorial elections in terms of raw ballots cast, according to Dave Wasserman of fivethirtyeight.com.