Voters Turn Out for Democratic Presidential Primary… And Say They’ll be Back in November

Mar 3, 2020

"I Voted Stickers" await voters at a polling station during the Democratic Presidential primary on Tuesday in Richmond.
Credit AP Photo/Steve Helber

Now it's Virginia's turn. Voters in the Commonwealth get to register their voices in the Democratic Presidential primary.

The precinct chief at the main branch of the Richmond public library was surprised when she unlocked the doors at 6 am and found there was already a line. She says it’s been a steady stream of voters ever since. Around 3 p.m. they were up to almost 600 people. 

Carroll Sample voted for Joe Biden.  “I like him because he looks like he’s very sincere. Compassionate. Wants to help people.” 

Kelly Prett is a college student who opted for Bernie Sanders. She says it’s important young folks like her have their voices heard Tuesday.  “Typically younger generation doesn’t have great turnout for voting so I’m just trying to help bring that number up and not just share about it on Facebook or talk about, but show up too.”

Sam Schneider went into the polling place still undecided between Biden and Sanders. Ultimately, he says he’ll support whomever wins.  “I think we all need to be behind whoever is the candidate for the Democratic party.” 

That’s something many voters had in common… that they’ll come out again this November.

Earlier in the day, the Virginia Department of Elections reported few problems with voting equipment and procedures.

The recent withdrawls by several candidates did raise a question about absentee ballots. Christopher Piper, commissioner of the state’s Department of Elections, said absentee voters that supported a candidate who has since dropped out of the race will not be able to recast a vote for another candidate.  “The vote does still count, even if your candidate isn’t running," Piper said in a conference call with reporters. "So at the end of the night, even candidates who have withdrawn or suspended their campaign, if somebody has voted for that candidate, it will still count.”

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