Home 2013 races Virginia Democratic Primary Day: Open Thread

Virginia Democratic Primary Day: Open Thread


Today is the Virginia Democratic primary election to choose our nominees for Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and several House of Delegates candidates (63rd, 86th, and 90th districts for the Democrats). Polls are open from 6 am to 7 pm. To find your polling place, click here. [UPDATE: Note that there are a few interesting Republican primaries as well for House of Delegates, mostly fueled by right-wing anger about the incumbents’ votes for the transportation bill’s tax increases…)

What are you seeing and hearing out there? What’s turnout like in your neck of the woods? Who did you vote for and why? I’m going to vote this afternoon – for Aneesh Chopra and Mark Herring. Tonight, I plan to live blog the results starting at 7 pm or so.  I’m also planning to listen to the John Fredericks Show – featuring Del. Scott Surovell, Ben Tribbett, and reporter Dave Sherfinski – starting at 6 pm. Should be a fun evening!

UPDATE 1:25 pm: From numbers I’ve seen in Arlington, I’d say that turnout will be up a bit from 2005. Of course, that’s not saying much, but still…better than flat or down! Also, I’m hearing that turnout in Leesburg is significantly up from 2005, and that Loudoun turnout is strong (see here for instance).

UPDATE 1:50 pm: I just heard from a Democratic campaign manager that he thinks turnout will better than 2005, not as good as 2006. Maybe somewhere around 130,000?

UPDATE 3:07 pm: According to the Loudoun Times, “Loudoun County General Registrar Judy Brown, just before 3 p.m., said voter turnout for today’s primary elections has generally been low thus far – remaining in the single digits in many precincts.” Not sure how that meshes with some of the info I heard earlier this afternoon from Loudoun. At this point, I might just wait for the results and stop even trying to guess…

UPDATE 4:19 pm: NLS predicts record low turnout in the Democratic primary today. That’s not what I’m hearing from my sources, but I guess we’ll see soon enough. Of course, they could both be right, in that turnout as a percentage of registered voters almost certainly will be the lowest ever, but absolute turnout might not be…

UPDATE 6:03 pm: ‏@frankoanderson tweets, “Latest from Fairfax County: sampling of precincts that reported btwn 3:30-4:30pm shows turnout of 2-3%.” Turnout in Fairfax County was 3.1% in 2005.

UPDATE 6:30 pm: @patrickmwilson tweets, “The Portsmouth registrar says 4,667 people had voted as of 3 p.m.” In 2005, 4,279 voted in Portsmouth.

  • AShifflett

    First one at the polls!  Get out and vote, people!  Let’s win this thing!

  • only 1 voter in the past 20 minutes. Pitiful.

  • Around 6:50 am: “Fourth person to vote in Fillmore Precinct. Only signs here are two Northam signs. Here’s hoping that just means Chopra and Herring have this precinct locked up.”

    Around 7:20 am: “Just voted at Fairview Precinct. Fairview Dems please get out to vote. Your poll workers are lonely. Only five voters in first hour. We can do better. Please vote.”

    From McLean: “7:15am and only 8 people had voted so far. Come on people, we need the best Dems to beat the ultra conservative teabaggers on the state wide ticket. Vote for Mark Herring and Aneesh Chopra.”

    7:45 am: “4 at Seneca Middle in Sterling”

    7:49 am: “Number 3 in Brambleton ”

  • …from Ben Tribbett: “At Brookfield precinct in Sully, 2 people have voted at 7:45! 8 in Popes Head precinct in Springfield.”

  • ak44

    I was #18 to vote at 8:15am. It’d be great to hear from other parts of the state and see what the turn out is like there.

  • 8:30 am: “Just voted at Richmond’s 607th precinct. As expected, turnout is light. I was the 70th voter this morning.”

  • around 15 minutes ago: “Number 8 at my lonely precinct today for my friends, Ralph and Mark. Squeeze is filling my truck cab.”

  • at around 8:43 am: “I was number 15 at Woodley precinct. There are plenty of ballots left!”

  • “Vote for Mark Herring today!

    Mark and I go way back to when he served on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. I was a staff aide to another Dem Supervisor and we together worked tooth-and-nail to develop and pass a Comprehensive Plan for what was then America’s fastest growing county. Mark was the Land Use and Transportation chairman and took on the yeoman’s share of crafting a plan that protected all that we love about Loudoun County, its rural character, its mountains, its open spaces, and adapted smart growth policies in the more urban areas of the county. We took so much grief from the property rights folks who badgered us at every moment. Mark remained grace under fire throughout. He doesn’t shy away from the things that matter. More recently, he’s been a strong out-spoken advocate against uranium mining and continuously rates high with his environmental record. I could go on and on about how great Mark is. I will be so happy and proud to hopefully see him elected our next AG. He will do an outstanding job!”

  • “When I voted at 9 a.m. — three hours into this election day — I was only the 29th voter at my home precinct of Nottoway, Fairfax County.”

    Note: Nottoway had 138 votes total in 2005.

  • by Gail Gordon Donegan:

    “Hubs and I were #35 & 36 at Blessed Sac at 8:15…37-39 were walking in as we left.”

  • Ben Tribbett tweets at 9:16 am: “In Lovetsville- 63 R ballots so far for House primary- only 8 D ballots.”

  • “I was the 25th voter at Barcroft precinct at 9am. Please vote today and give these bored election officials something to do.”

    There were 244 votes cast there in 2005, 194 of which were for Leslie Byrne.

  • unstablefan

    #10 (one one of the two machines) in Arlington 018. I think that around here more people vote in the evening and most people don’t vote in primaries.

    Also, just joined the site to post this!!!

  • pashin

    8:00 – 10 voters

    9:00 – 20 voters

    No poll workers for any candidate out in front.  

  • “Voted at my Roanoke city precinct at 9:30. Only the fourth voter to do so………dreadfully low turnout here and in other parts of 17th House district.”

  • OrangeDem

    Only voter in the room. Two of the three poll workers there were very grumpy, made me feel like I was trying to borrow money not exercise my right to vote.

    Also, first time I’ve ever used a paper ballot. Scanner thing was pretty cool, and I assume that’s a way of preventing vote counting shenanigans.

    Chopra and Herring. Like Northam–have  actually given him money in past, but Chopra seems more electable and the stories  I heard about Northam’s floundering campaign made me a little nervous. Herring was pretty much a default vote, have no idea who his opponent is. Never seen a single flier or ad from the guy. What a strange campaign . . .

  • antonio_m_elias

    in Fairfax County, but my fiancee voted this morning at our local precinct in Richmond City.

    At 7:45 AM at Richmond Precinct 207, 12 people had voted.

    Seems mildly better than the NoVA numbers around the same time, but the initial rush had pretty much ended, and poll workers were guessing around 100 for the day. In 2005 that precinct had 138 voters. 269 voters in 2009.

  • Another Scott
  • pontoon

    had voted a total of 105 voters as of 10:00 am.  Woo hoo…almost 1% of our registered voters.    

  • totallynext

    Republican primary for all offices:  Governor, LG and AG.  Ballots cast:

    Governor:  175,170

    LG:        170,107

    AG:        167,804

    Dems only had the LG race – 115,379 ballots cast.

    I still think it is better than 5,000 people selecting the candidates – but I just don’t get the SD and LD that do not vote in the primary then bitch about their choices……..


  • totallynext

    Lorton Station – 17

    Gunston 20

    Woodley 32

    Lorton 20

    Saratoga 28

    Laurel HIll 22

    Still – it is just crazy low!

  • Eric Anderson

    I voted at Newgate North (Centreville HS) around 8:30 this morning. I was #6. The poll worker was so glad to see me that he shook my hand!

  • MShapiro

    I was number 90. In 2009 about 182 people voted in the Democratic Primary for LG at this precinct.  

  • sallybee

    …at Rocky Mount South at 7:15 this morning.  

  • pontoon

    in Centreville…he was 14th at 11:38 am.  Response to his post that 18 people at voted in Dumfries.

    These totals seem to indicate that NoVA turnout going to be really, really low?

  • mattattack911

    only the 16th. Very very low turnout…the pollworkers looked shocked to see me.

  • pontoon

    I was the 6th voter at Newbern precinct in Pulaski County today shortly after noon. If you’re a Democrat, come out and vote today. There’s no line and it takes under two minutes to make your voice heard. You can choose from Aneesh Chopra or Senator Ralph Northam for Lt. Governor, and Mark Herring or Justin E. Fairfax for Attorney General. You have until 7:00 PM to help shape the Democratic ticket on the ballot this November!

  • pontoon

    if this is true

    -A number of election officials said they believe many Democrats are crossing party lines to keep incumbent Del. Joe May in office, therefore the Democrat vote in western Loudoun has been low. Campaign volunteers for May’s challenger, Dave LaRock, were present at all but precinct 401, which had a May volunteer.

    from your Loudoun link above…Dems crossing over to vote in the Republican primary can’t be good for Mark?

  • lsockett

    As usual, in off years and primaries, I was the only one voting at the Marshall Precinct (at the Taylor School) in Arlington at 1:30 p.m. today.  They told me that only about 140 people had voted by then.  

  • Dan Sullivan

    Visited 2 of the 4 precincts. One had 36, the other 37.

    123 voted citywide in 2005. So on track to beat that, handily.  And will be very near the total of 254 from 2006.  

  • Seth

    in Arlington around 12:30 I was the 55th person to vote. A small delay at the poll because my VA ID address did not match my voting address (I recently moved to the area). Voted after showing a second form.

    I am hearing that people in Norfolk, where my family votes, are coming out strong to vote against Sharon McDonald for commissioner of revenue. She has a rocky past to say the least. http://hamptonroads.com/2011/0

    Not sure if this has any effect on the AG or LG races.    

  • Tom

    119 had voted at the Gainesville HH precinct (my precinct) as of 1:30 P.M. This precinct (which is roughly 40% R/R-leaning) has about 3, 000 registered voters. This is a retirement (55 and older) community so as those who still work and those just coming off the golf course by 4 or 5 P.M., at this rate it appears possible that we could see a 5-6% turnout rate. HH precinct had almost a 90% turnout in the 2012 election cycle, with Obama coming close to a win here.

    I also checked the Mullen precinct, which is a D-performing precinct at 1:50 P.M. and they reported only 13 having voted at that time. One of the election officials at Mullen told me the Sinclair precinct (also D-performing) was “way down” with only 9 having voted as of about noon.


  • Ben Tribbett wrote, “Just voted #103 at my precinct in Alexandria at 2:30. Supported Mark Herring, and held my nose to vote for Aneesh Chopra.”

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    In a very Republican precinct in Botetourt County, I was the first voter to vote (at 12:45p.m.). My husband was #2. Ridiculous. We might as well have a convention if turnout is just 1-2%.

  • Seth

    at 3:30, 284 people had voted.. Not surprising, very strong dem area.  

  • “Ten Commandments.” Ee gads. By the way, it’s hilarious that BuzzFeed thinks it has a scoop on this, when a bunch of Virginia political observers were joking about this on Facebook days ago. But nice catch BuzzFeed, we’re glad you’re on top of things. 🙂

  • churchlanddem

    just spent some time trying to get people out to Precinct 34 in Portsmouth where turnout has been moderate. Looks good for Northam here!

  • unstablefan

    I know most people here are for Chopra, but I’m imagining a hypothetical non-crazy Republican who doesn’t want to vote for the looneybin LG candidate. Do folks think there’s any chance such a person might be turned off by Chopra’s ties to Obama but willing to vote for Northam in November?

  • crickers

    Voter number 3 of 900 registered at noon, Brown’s Store 201