Voters across the Commonwealth were out at the polls today, casting their ballots for the state legislature and local offices. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi filed reports from two Harrisonburg-area districts, one in the city, one in Rockingham County. And WMRA's Kimberlea Daggy talked with some voters at the precinct where she votes in Augusta County.
It was still overcast and chilly just after 10 this morning at Thomas Harrison Middle School in Harrisonburg, as a light stream of people filed in to vote in the ‘Blue Streak Bistro’ cafeteria. For an off-year election, officials agreed that the turnout was unusually good. Margee Greenfield is a precinct chief for the Democratic party.
MARGEE GREENFIELD: I’m guessing it’s just the tenor of politics right now, and people are just feeling the need to have a say … On an off-year election, we very seldom have lines during the day, and we’ve had a few lines, not long lines.
Her colleague, Republican precinct chief Tom Lord, said the pace has been steady throughout the morning.
TOM LORD: A hundred and twenty per hour … It’s going well, that’s all I can say.
Edwin Yoder visited the polls this morning to vote for Democratic candidates Brent Finnegan for the House of Delegates in the 26th District, and April Moore for the 26th District State Senate seat. Both are challenging incumbents.
EDWIN YODER: I think it’s a pretty important time [laughs]… I just hope for our division in the country to be healed, and I take my civic responsibilities seriously.
Tom Sawin said he’s an Independent, but he also came out to vote for the Democrats today.
TOM SAWIN: Only because I’m rebelling against Republican stupidness … We need to have change. If Trump is reelected, he will make America horrible, and it’s already going very strongly that direction.
Montezuma Hall sits on Route 257, a few miles west of Dayton. Today, it’s a polling place for a steady stream of Rockingham County residents who are voting for their state senator, delegate, and county supervisor. Around 11 a.m., precinct chief William Callender said that 22% of the electorate had already come out.
WILLIAM CALLENDER: It’s been steady … The presidential election’s always vote heavy, some of the off year elections are a little bit low, this one seems to be, it’s very steady, and been real good. We’re happy with the turnout right now.
The sun was out in Montezuma, as local residents – some conservative Mennonite, some not, filed in. I waited outside for about 40 minutes until one voter was willing to be interviewed.
STEVE WINGFIELD: I’m a citizen of the U.S., and it’s a privilege that I thank the Lord for, and I try to vote every time there’s an opportunity.
Steve Wingfield came out specifically to vote for Republican Chris Runion for the Virginia House of Delegates 25th District seat.
WINGFIELD: He’s a personal friend, and I’ve known him for years, we’re in Rotary together, and I think he’s going to make a great candidate.
Bill Kyger, who’s running unopposed for the Rockingham County board of supervisors today, was out in the parking lot handing out sample Republican ballots. He’s served on the board for 32 years, but has been volunteering for the Republican party for close to 40 years.
BILL KYGER: I taught government for 30 years in the public school system, so I understand the importance of the enfranchisement of voting.