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Voter Turnout Low in Virginia Democrats' Primary

The Democratic Primary is less than three weeks away, and so far officials say the turn-out for early voting is low.

Last year at this time more than 800 people were showing up each day to vote in Albemarle County.  This year, hardly anyone has come out to cast a ballot since registrars opened for business in mid-April.

“In Albemarle County we’re just up to 235 people voting early, in person,” says Board of Elections Secretary Jim Heilman. “Roanoke County had just about 100 people who voted so far.  Richmond City had 345, and Radford – 29 people!”

While there are five Democrats seeking the top job, he suspects many voters know who they want for governor, and just two men are running for attorney general in the primary, but Heilman thinks voters may be hung-up on the number two spot.

“The lieutenant governor’s race, seven names on the ballot, and people just keep going back and forth on who they’re going to support for that.”  

Early voting ends on Saturday, June 5th.

“So all registrars’ offices around the state will be open and in some places also satellite offices,” Heilman says. “We will be open all weekdays and then the last two Saturdays before the election.”

The primary election for Democratic candidates is June 8th and the general election is November 2nd.  Republicans chose their ticket at a drive-through convention.  

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief
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