Home 2017 Races Virginia Primary Day 2017: Open Thread

Virginia Primary Day 2017: Open Thread


Today is primary election day in Virginia (polls are open from 6 am to 7 pm; vote at your regular polling location). There are hot races all over the state, including for the Democratic and Republican nominations for governor and Lt. Governor, plus many hotly contested House of Delegates races, so make sure your voice is heard!

What’s turnout like in your neck of the woods? (To me, that could be the key number to watch – the higher the turnout, the better for Tom Perriello; the lower the turnout, the better for Ralph Northam? For comparison purposes, turnout in 2009, the last VA Dem gubernatorial primary, was 319,168. Turnout in 2013, when Dems had LG and AG primaries, was 152,076. Turnout for the 2006 Webb vs. Miller US Senate Dem primary was 155,784. Turnout in the 2005 VA Dem LG primary was 175,170. And turnout in the 2016 VA Dem presidential primary was 785,041. Can we match that last one or even come close to it? We’ll see very soon…) Who did you vote for and why? Feel free to add your observations in the comments section.

With that…what are you seeing and hearing out there?

  • RVA_Exile

    Voted absentee for Perriello in Goochland County and hoping for the best!

    Why? Northam seems like the sleepy Creigh Deeds-type that once he’s won the primary will hang out on the Eastern Shore where too few people live (see Bath County) until November.

    Perriello has the best chance at building turnout in an off-off-year election in places like Northern Virginia, Richmond and Charlottesville that have proved crucial in recent years.

    Why might he lose? Like Bernie before him, Perriello seems to have not strongly contested the Black vote…

  • frankoanderson

    All is quiet here at the Fairfax Dems Headquarters. We’ll report incidents as they come along. If a voter is having issues with access to polls or with casting a ballot, we first contact our voter protection team. Other items, I can report here or on twitter @frankoanderson.

  • Dan Sullivan reports: “Here in red Waynesboro, absentee balloting for this primary was at about the same number as for the Presidential primary last year. However, the heaviest voting flipped from the Republican primary last year to the Democratic primary this year.”

  • Frank Leone

    Voter protection efforts are calm – but if you have any issues please call us at 844-482-8683.

  • Ed Lovell

    Just voted in very red Augusta County. I was surprised by the number of people showing up to vote. There was a steady number of voters coming to the polling place. During the last primary I voted in, I didn’t see any other voters as I went in, cast my ballot and left. Today there were people already there and more coming in as I was leaving. I’m hoping this is a sign of more engaged voters. I cast my vote for Perriello because I think now is the time for bold action. While I’m sure Northram is a good man and would be a good governor, we don’t need a centrist at this time in our history. We need to draw a line in the sand and clearly define who we are and what we stand for. I think Perriello is the best person to do this.

  • Philip Whitman

    I have a family member who may or may not vote today. What I found interesting is that, based on news coverage and campaign ads, he likes what Tom has said about the economy. He seemed less sure about what Ralph’s overarching message is.

    As for myself, it was a tough decision, but after work I’m voting for Tom. (I can direct anyone who cares to a longer piece I wrote about my thought process.)

    • Ed Lovell

      I’m always curious about why people choose not to vote. Can you speak to the reasons why your family member may or may not vote. Do they not think their vote makes a difference?

      • Philip Whitman

        He will absolutely vote blue in November. As for the primary, I’m not sure. I think it’s a matter of convenience and basically finding them both acceptable. As much as I like voting in person myself, I think vote by mail would help a lot.

        • BTRiley

          For me it’s all about who will be most electable in November and who will fight most fiercely for the people once in office. I truly believe that virtually anyone who will vote for Northam will show up for any Democratic candidate, they’re dependable voters – especially in the trump era- but we need to draw in millennials and independents too. Tom does really well with both groups!

  • dirich

    In Montgomery County, VA, turnout at a very red polling place was sparse, while one of the most Democratic polling places has had a steady stream of people. Voters have taken flyers with information on how the candidates stand on the Mountain Valley Pipeline issue.

    • At VA Square precinct in Arlington: 353 voters in the 2009 VA Dem gov primary; 221 voters at around 9:30 am today.

      • BTRiley

        If that a typically blue or red precinct? was that 353 total in 2009?

        • notjohnsmosby

          There are no red precincts in Arlington.

  • Another Scott

    J and I voted this morning at Stratford Landing (Fairfax Co.). It’s a strongly blue precinct but has strong participation from both parties in general elections. I was around #225 at 9:30. No waiting, people tricking in and out pretty quickly. I was hoping for a higher turnout, but maybe it’s normal for these kinds of things.

    2 more votes for Tom and Susan.

    Whatever happens today, we must win in November!!


  • From the Fairfax County Board of Elections:

    “Turnout estimate at 10:30 am: 4.4%. D=3.2% (22,356) and R=1.2% (8,262). Will be back at 2 pm with update.”

    Comparison: in 2009, turnout in Fairfax was about 9%, but there was not Republican statewide primary that year.

  • From Tom’s comms director Ian Sams on Twitter:

    “Turnout at Walker precinct in Cville city, as of just 10:26am: 559

    Walker precinct in *full* 2009 Dem #VAGov primary: 569”

    • BTRiley

      Ah! I’m afraid to believe. I actually got a case of heat exhaustion knocking on doors because I believe in Tom so much! He’s a fighter and a man of the people. He’s exactly who we need in Virginia!

  • Tanner Stroupe

    I just voted in Wythe County for Tom Perriello and Justin Fairfax about 45 minutes ago and I was the 153rd person. Turnout here isn’t looking good so far.

    • What precinct? If turnout is low in Wythe County, which Trump won 75%-21%, that doesn’t bode well for Republican enthusiasm…

      • Tanner Stroupe

        East wytheville. I live right next to the polling place so I can see when people show up and it has been pretty sparse all day.

  • A_Siegel

    My polling station: 230 votes as of 1120. “Steady. Essentially never any lines but we’ve had voters most of the time.” was comment from election workers. Three more voters showed up as I voted. 370 votes in the D primary in 2009.

    Note: my polling station had zero (ZERO) D presence. There was a GOP table, signs for multiple GOP candidates, there were no D-related signs (that I saw) out of about 20 signs there. There was a One Virginia 2021 (redistricting/anti-gerrymandering) volunteer/table/literature.

  • Rees Shearer

    In Washington Co., VA, Meadowview precinct, Trump=73%, turn out at noon is 5%=42 Republicans, 47 Democrats.

  • Trump hits 60% (!) disapproval in Gallup; if you live in Virginia, vote Tom Perriello today and send him a loud-and-clear message!


  • @ArlingtonVotes 1h1 hour ago Estimated turnout in Arlington at noon: 9.5%. Polls close at 7 pm.

    For comparison: turnout in Arlington in 2009 was 13.64%.

    • BTRiley

      Do you know what Tom’s numbers are like in Arlington Co?

    • muppetzinspace

      Arlington Elections on Twitter said the turn out was 12% at 2pm. More people to vote on their way home after work, likely. https://twitter.com/ArlingtonVotes?s=09

  • Huge turnout in Perriello’s home town of Charlottesville as of 1 pm


    Note that in 2009, Cville turnout was 3,054 votes (11%)

    • Melanie Bailey

      I was pleasantly surprised at how many people there were voting at my Albemarle County precinct at 11 am when I went to vote. The person giving out GOP ballots was pretty lonely (lol). In terms of the governor’s race, I saw no Northam signs, only Perriello. And I was canvassed at my home only by Team Perriello – so Northam either gave up on the C’ville area or didn’t think he needed a “ground game”.

      • Yeah, I only saw Perriello signs at my precinct in Arlington.

        • Grandstander

          That’s odd, it was only Northam at my precinct in Arlington. We’re right down the street from one of his satellite field offices though. He has heavy presence on the Eastern end of the Pike.

  • Fairfax County 2 pm turnout estimates: 8.6% total. D=6.1% (43,011); R=2.5% (17,496)

    Again, in 2009, turnout was 9%, so getting close to that as of 2 pm…should surpass it among Dems by the end of the day.

    • frankoanderson

      Also, those numbers do NOT include absentee ballots.

  • Video: Corey Stewart Predicts Recount, Says Turnout Down in “Establishment Ed’s” Areas of VA


  • From Alexandria Vice Mayor Justin Wilson: “As of noon, 9250 have voted in the Dem primary in ALX. That is 9.7% turnout. 1994 in the GOP primary. That’s 2.1%. Including absentees.”

    Note that in 2009, turnout was 13% in Alexandria…12,597 votes

  • Paul K

    I voted around 10am at the Spring Hill precinct in McLean. It’s a precinct that is almost evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans with a slight Democratic edge. There was only one other voter when I was there so there was no wait at all and the workers said turnout seemed low. The only candidate that had signs outside the polling place was Frank Wagner but the Fairfax County Dems were tabling. I voted for Tom Perriello and Justin Fairfax and am hopeful they will pull it off!

  • Light turnout in Hampton Roads?


    “As of 1 p.m., about 12 percent of the registered voters in [Mathews] county had voted, divided evenly between the Democratic and Republican primaries.”

    “In Gloucester County, about 8 percent of registered voters had voted by early afternoon, 848 of them in the Democratic primary and 1,315 in the GOP primary. ”

    “Tara Moore from the Poquoson registrar’s office said there have not been any problems in the city and that it’s been a normal day overall. She said around 2 p.m. that 817 people had voted, with 218 requesting Democratic ballots and 599 requesting Republican. The city has a total of 8,980 voters.”

  • Courtesy of PW County School Board Chair Ryan Sawyers:

    Bethel Precinct PWC
    357 votes at 3:30 pm
    221 Dem
    136 Rep

    174 total votes in Dem Primary in 2009

  • JDL

    Voted for Ralph and Susan this morning in Arlington around 8:00 AM, but I will happily donate, volunteer, and vote for the winners of the Dem primary today in the fall, whomever they are. There were about 20 primary cards in the Dem pile and one sad lone primary card in the GOP pile when I turned my primary card in and picked up my ballot. Hopefully GOP turnout will continue to stay low in the general.

  • Corey Stewart breaks elections law by electioneering inside the 40ft boundary, on camera no less. What part of “illegal” does Corey Stewart not understand, anyway???


    • True Blue

      Rules don’t matter? At 0:23 there’s evidence of a circular sign with a slash through it (meaning no?). I cannot distinguish the exact content with a screen shot, but I’ve seen them before. He’s clearly electioneering on video while posing as a helper for his friend/supporter. Many Republicans in my district pretend to not know any better so I’ve complained to my precinct’s chairman in the past about this very matter.

      • For Corey Stewart and his ilk, rules are for other (brown) people….

  • Unofficial numbers @ 3 p.m., courtesy of Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke):

    Salem- 9%
    Roanoke- 8.4%
    Roanoke County- 11%

  • #agentorange

    Any signs of Putin rigging the VA primaries today?
    He needs practice if he is going to keep Comstock et al in office next year, which is needed to keep a demo majority from impeaching #agentorange

  • More detail on Roanoke County (comparison: in 2009, only 38 votes in Hollins and only 106 votes in Windsor Hills)


  • I hear that turnout in Richmond’s 707 (Church Hill) precinct is super high. That’s a very liberal precinct that went 51%-49% Hillary over Bernie. Seems like good news for Tom Perriello if turnout is super high there…

  • Dan Sullivan

    Out here over the mountain from Charlottesville there is a distinct change to the voting demographic. As of a couple of hours ago in Waynesboro, before a thunderstorm rolled through, the voters in the Democratic Primary outnumbered those voting in the Republican Primary. This continues a trend observed in absentee voting and both are the flip of last year’s presidential primary.

    The voters arriving at the polls are generally younger and more culturally and socially diverse.

    • Sounds like Tom Perriello type voters to me. What do you think?

      • Dan Sullivan

        It was. Waynesboro went Perriello 730; Northam 320.

  • Sharon Ponton

    In Nelson County turnout is up. 1471 Democratic ballots cast by 4 pm. A total of 1764 Dem ballots were cast in the 2016 Presidential primary. We should surpass that.

    • LHarrisonF


    • Wow, that’s a HUGE increase from 2009 ( 898 of 10,563 active voters — 8.5%). Good news for Tom, I presume? Thanks.

  • Lorton precinct (Fairfax County) at 5:20: 176 Democrats, 42 Republicans

    In 2009, Lorton precinct had just 125 votes cast. Big increase!

  • Sharon Ponton

    6 pm Nelson totals. 1796 Democratic Ballots; 793 Republican Ballots. 23.7% turnout