Area sees solid voter turnout
Petersburg sets record for Senate midterm races; in Colonial Heights, the local race totals were higher than the federal totals
It was a record-breaking turnout in Petersburg Tuesday for a midterm election, as more than 10,000 ballots were cast.
By the time the polls closed at 7 p.m., 10,234 votes had been placed for the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Timothy M. Kaine and Republican challenger Corey Stewart, said city Registrar Dawn Williams. That far surpassed the turnout of 7,750 for the 2014 midterms.
Putting it into perspective, Williams said by 3 p.m. Tuesday, the count was 7,748, two less than the total turnout for 2014. By 6 p.m., that has rocketed to 9,871, then climbed 363 more by poll-closing time.
Williams said last week she expected a heavy turnout based on the volume of absentee ballots her office had received. The final numbers proved her correct.
“We were very happy,” Williams said Wednesday. “The voters had a great opportunity. The [predicted] rain and tornadoes held off, and Mother Nature gave us a great day.”
In the 4th Congressional District race won by Democratic incumbent A. Donald McEachin, 10,200 votes were counted.
Petersburg also had four council seats on the ballots, but two of them were unopposed. In the Ward 3 race won by incumbent Samuel Parham, 1,959 votes were cast. In Ward 5, where incumbent W. Howard Myers won a four-way race that included two write-ins, a total of 1,138 votes were counted.
In Hopewell, Registrar Yolanda W. Stokes estimated the citywide voter turnout at around 27 percent. Four seats were on the ballot, three of them contested and won by challengers.
Senate race votes for Hopewell totaled 6,875, while the 4th race drew 6,863. The three-way Ward 3 race won by challenger Johnny S. Partin Jr. recorded a total of
1,228 votes. The Ward 1 race won by challenger Deborah B. Randolph counted 732 votes. In Ward 7, where challenger Patience A. Bennett was the winner, there were 827 votes cast.
In Colonial Heights, where all at-large races were unopposed, the local votes outdistanced the votes for federal office. Voters cast 11,948 ballots for three City Council candidates, and 8,421 ballots in the two-person School Board race. Colonial Heights also cast 6,415 votes for the Senate race and 6,405 for the 4th race.
Colonial Heights Registrar Jennifer Schott estimated the total voter turnout citywide of 52 percent, which she said she had expected. “It was pretty
much right on target,” she said.
In Dinwiddie County, the only local race occurred in McKenney, where 99 votes were cast for the unopposed town mayor, and 232 for five at-large candidates. The Senate race drew 10,576 voters, while the 4th race drew 10,500.
In Prince George County, where the only contested races were the federal ones, 12,627 votes were counted in the Senate race, and 12,605 in the 4th race. Prince George Registrar Allan Richeson estimated the countywide voter turnout at 55 percent.
All of the vote counts can be found on the state Department of Elections website.
Bill Atkinson may be reached at 804-7225167 or batkinson@ progress-index.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BAtkinsonpi.