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

The Progress-Index - - FRONT PAGE - By Bill Atkin­son As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor

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.

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