High turnout expected for Tuesday’s midterm elections

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Oct 31, 2018 - 02:50 PM

Photo: Tim Kaine, Corey Stewart, and Matt Waters, from left are Virginia's 2018 candidates for the U.S. Senate

Tim Kaine, Corey Stewart, and Matt Waters, from left are Virginia's 2018 candidates for the U.S. Senate

Photo: Rob Wittman and Vangie Williams, from left, are the 2018 candidates for Virginia's first Congressional District.

Rob Wittman and Vangie Williams, from left, are the 2018 candidates for Virginia's first Congressional District.

With the rate of absentee voters already having cast their ballot increasing over the last midterm election, Tuesday’s Election Day turnout is expected to be high at polling locations throughout Gloucester and Mathews.

Polls will be open on Election Day in Gloucester, Mathews and the rest of Virginia from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Statewide, voters will be asked to choose from three candidates for U.S. Senate, as well as weigh in on two proposed amendments to the state constitution.

In Gloucester, Mathews and the rest of Virginia’s 1st Congressional District, voters will pick between incumbent Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Montross) and his Democratic opponent, Vangie Williams.

 “There has been a noticeable increase in absentee ballots,” said Bobbi Morgan, Gloucester’s voter registrar. As of Oct. 25, she had received 782 absentee ballot requests leading up to Tuesday’s elections. During the last midterm election, Morgan said she had received 266 absentee ballots prior to Oct. 25, 2014 and 458 total ballot requests. 

In Mathews, voter registrar Carla Faulkner echoed similar results saying that 379 absentee ballots were submitted for the 2014 elections. As of Monday morning, Faulkner said she had received 462 absentee ballots. 

“So, yes, we are seeing a noticeable increase, with a week still to go,” Faulkner said, as the last day to vote in-person absentee is Saturday.

Voter registrars in both counties will be open special hours on Saturday. Gloucester’s office will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and the Mathews office from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

U.S. Senate

In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Democrat Tim Kaine is opposed by Republican Corey Stewart and Libertarian Matt Waters.

Kaine, who has served in the U.S. Senate since 2013, was Richmond’s mayor (1998-2001) and governor (2006-2010). In 2016, he was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in her unsuccessful bid for the presidency.

Stewart, an international trade attorney, is serving his fourth term as at-large chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. In 2017, he sought the Republican nomination for governor, narrowly losing to Ed Gillespie.

Waters, a Newport News native, is chief executive of The Waters Agency, a Washington, D.C., firm that raises money for political candidates, ballot initiatives, 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) groups and nonprofit organizations.

Congress

Wittman, a five-term incumbent, is opposed by Williams. Wittman entered Congress in 2007, winning a special election following the death of Jo Ann Davis. He went on to win his first full term the following year. Wittman worked for 20 years with the Virginia Department of Health as an environmental health specialist and later was field director for the Division of Shellfish Sanitation. He was on the Montross Town Council as mayor, on the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors, and was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2005.

Williams, of King George County, is a strategic analyst for a federal contractor, Science Applications International Corporation of Reston. She received nearly 40 percent of the vote in a three-way race in the June 12 primary to win the Democratic Party’s endorsement.

Constitutional amendments

Finally, there are two constitutional amendments on this year’s ballot. The first would authorize the General Assembly to allow localities to provide a partial tax exemption for real property that is subject to recurrent flooding, if improvements have been made on the property to address flooding.

The second, if approved, would allow the surviving spouse of a veteran who has been determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to have a 100 percent service-connected, permanent and total disability to continue to claim the tax exemption currently provided, even if the surviving spouse moves to a new principal place of residence that is owned by the surviving spouse.

Polling locations

In Gloucester, polling locations are divided by magisterial district and then by precinct. Petsworth District voters will vote at the Harcum Precinct (Bridgepoint Church); the Salem Precinct (Petsworth Elementary School) or the Peasley Precinct (Peasley Middle School). Ware District voters will cast their ballots at the Courthouse Precinct (Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church) or the Botetourt Precinct (Botetourt Elementary School). Abingdon District voters will vote at the White Marsh Precinct (Bethel Elementary School) or the Roanes Precinct (Gloucester High School). Gloucester Point District voters will cast their ballots at the Hayes Precinct (Abingdon Elementary School) or the Sarah Creek Precinct (Gloucester Point Baptist Church). York District voters will vote at the Achilles Precinct (Abingdon Ruritan Club) or the Walker Precinct (T.C. Walker Education Center). 

In Mathews, voters in the Chesapeake Magisterial District will vote at Lee-Jackson Elementary School. Voters who reside in the Westville District will cast their ballots at Thomas Hunter Middle School. Finally, those in the Piankatank District will vote at Mathews High School.

Election officials

The following election officials will be greeting voters at their normal polling locations in Gloucester: Albert Ali Jr., Danita Allen, Susanne Antonick, Billy Auker, Christopher Avery, Reida Avery, Deloris Belle, Sarah Berry, William Blair, Richard Brown III, Katelyn Bush, Diane Carr, Henry Crawford Jr., Cheryl Davis, Diane Davis, Eileen Davis, Katherine Davis, Meg Delaney, Denise Dick, Roger Dick, Brenda Dixon, Joseph Dmytryszyn, Lacontiss Donaldson, Glen Eads, Gerry Eberhardt, Kenneth Evans, Lynn Foster, Julie Garrett, Ivan Garrett Jr., Marsha Germek, Danielle Gray, Susan Gray, Linda Gregory, Sandra Harvey, Angela Healy, Beverly Hermanson, J. Milton Hudgins, Suzanne Hudson, Brenda Johnson-Asnicar, Emily Sue Jones, Sonya Jones, Kathleen Kellar, Easby King, James King, Deborah Kirkland, R. Homer Lanier, Lisa Laurier, Carol Lawrence, Rebecca Lazos, Joseph Lineberry Jr., Jerry Little, Christina Long, John Luckam, Debbie Martin, Kristy McShea, Anthony Michura, Deborah Mitchell, Eugene Morgan Jr., Thomas O’Donnell, Bruce Parmiter, Soren Patterson, Darryl Payne, A. James Phillips, Gregory Pollard, Richard Pruden, Roberta Ray, William Raynor, Sieglinde Reed, Charles Reidell II, Ann Rex, Bernard Robins, Gary Ryan, Mary Ryan, Donald Sandridge, Raymond Scholz, Alice Smith, C. Gordon Smith, Judith Smith, Robert Sowell, Katrina Spencer, Carol Staheli, Danny Sydow, Effie Thompkins, Kathryne Thompson, J. Lavinia Thornton, Betty Todd, Leibet Tuttle, Anne Tyler, Louis Valcourt, Helen Vann, Timothy Wahlstrom, Ella Watkins, Nina Watkins, Ann Williams, Debra Wilson and Richard Yamamoto.

In Mathews, the following election officials will assist voters at their regular polling locations: Nelson Buchanan, Annie Goin, Yvonne Johnson, Rebecca Morgan, Joe Ryan, Janice Phillips, Linda Pletnick, Cynthia Shackelford, Shirley Snow, Kirsten Thomas, Martha Bowen, Janet Deschak, Debby Hancock, Sherry Hodges, Mary Marshall, Christy Moughon, Jane Reed, Mary Sampson, Cathy Williams, Linda Bradford, Patsy Brooks, Richard Brooks, John Bonner, Kenneth Dale, Susan Lau, Jean Owens, Elizabeth Rowe, Glenn Smith, Alice Stewart and Christine Ulrich. 

Faulkner said local restaurants Mathews Grill and Deli, Richardson’s Café and Beach Bum BBQ are each providing dinner for election officials at each precinct in Mathews on Election Day. 

Voting requirements and more information

Virginia voters are required to present an acceptable photo ID when voting in-person, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. For a list of acceptable forms of photo identification, or to find out how to obtain a free Virginia Voter Photo ID Card, visit vote.virginia.gov. 

For more information on the upcoming election, visit the Gloucester Voter Registrar’s website at www.gloucesterva.info or the Mathews Voter Registrar’s website at www.mathewscountyva.gov; or call the Gloucester office at 804-693-3659 or the Mathews office at 804-725-3200.