Virginia Election Day 2022: Updates

By: - November 8, 2022 11:27 am

Signs at a polling location in Buckingham County, Va., November 3, 2020. (Parker Michels-Boyce / For the Virginia Mercury)

As Virginians head to the polls today, Mercury staff are covering how the election unfolds across the commonwealth.

On the Nov. 8, 2022 ballot: all 11 Virginia seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The big ones to watch:

  • 2nd Congressional District: Democratic incumbent Elaine Luria v. Republican challenger Jen Kiggans
  • 7th Congressional District: Democratic incumbent Abigail Spanberger v. Republican challenger Yesli Vega
  • 10th Congressional District: Democratic incumbent Jennifer Wexton v. Republican challenger Hung Cao

Some voters are also casting votes for local offices like school boards and town councils.

Check back frequently for more updates on Election Day.

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3 weeks ago

Wittman, McEachin, Good, Connolly reelected

By: - 9:25 pm
Inside the precinct at Herndon Middle School in Fairfax County on Nov. 8, 2022 (Nathaniel Cline / Virginia Mercury)

Still no surprises on Virginia election night.

The AP called the 1st District race for Republican incumbent Rob Wittman and the 4th District race for Democratic incumbent Donald McEachin at 9:03 p.m. EST, followed by the 5th District race for Republican incumbent Bob Good at 9:04 p.m.

The 11th District race was called for Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly at 9:17 p.m.

Still outstanding: the competitive 2nd, 7th and 10th District races.

3 weeks ago

Early victories for Griffith, Cline, Scott, Beyer

By: - 8:59 pm
Inside the precinct at Herndon Middle School in Fairfax County on Nov. 8, 2022 (Nathaniel Cline / Virginia Mercury)


9th District: The first Virginia race called on Election Day was for Republican incumbent Morgan Griffith, whose victory over Democratic challenger Taysha Lee DeVaughan the Associated Press declared at 7:52 p.m. EST. 

6th District: AP called the 6th District race for Republican incumbent Ben Cline at 8:03 p.m. EST. Cline triumphed over Democratic challenger Jennifer Lewis. 

3rd District: AP called the 3rd District race for Democratic incumbent Bobby Scott, who defeated Republican challenger Terry Namkung, at 8:09 p.m. EST.

8th District: AP called the 8th District race for Democratic incumbent Don Beyerat 8:42 p.m. EST. Beyer beat Republican challenger Karina Lipsman.

3 weeks ago

Judge rescinds order keeping Nottoway polling place open after state raises fairness concerns

By: - 7:14 pm
An ‘I Voted’ sticker. (Nathaniel Cline / Virginia Mercury)

A Virginia judge rescinded a prior order keeping a Nottoway County polling place open for an extra hour after state officials raised concerns over whether all candidates had notice of the extended hours.

Nottoway was one of several counties that experienced problems with electronic pollbooks Tuesday, an issue that apparently led a judge to agree to a request to keep the polling place at Blackstone Elementary School open until 8 p.m.

At the request of the State Board of Elections, the office of Attorney General Jason Miyares successfully asked Judge Paul W. Cella to reconsider his prior order.

“SBE is concerned with the purity of the election (and that is part of its statutory duty under 24.2-103-104), in that one candidate will have notice of the extended polling hours while the others will not,” state attorney Joshua Lief said in an email Tuesday evening to Cella’s clerk. “SBE further understands that the issue with pollbooks was county wide, not specific to this one polling place.  There is also some dispute about how long the pollbook issue remained unresolved.”

Nottoway has been grappling with major controversy over how its election office is being run for much of the year, with numerous residents raising concerns that local political disputes were spilling over into the registrar’s office.

In an email informing the state of the judge’s prior decision Tuesday afternoon, Nottoway Registrar Rodney Reynolds said the extended hours were a result of “eight voters not being able to vote when the polls opened this morning.”

Meanwhile, a Suffolk Circuit Court judge ordered that a polling place at East Suffolk Recreation Center in Suffolk County should remain open 20 minutes past the 7 p.m. closure of the polls “due to electronic issues with the voting machines” earlier in the day.

3 weeks ago

Election officials preview new data features to make vote counts clearer

By: - 4:52 pm
New data features on the Virginia Department of Elections’ vote reporting pages.

Virginia’s official election results website will have new data features to make it clearer how many votes have been counted and how many are outstanding after the polls close at 7 p.m.

“We’re adding some more features, some more transparency,” Elections Commissioner Susan Beals said at a 4 p.m. press briefing.

The redesigned page breaks out results into five categories: early in-person votes, Election Day votes, mailed absentee votes, provisional ballots and ballots that arrive in the mail after Election Day.

“This is to help give our voters a better understanding of the results reporting progress, so they understand what’s been counted and what’s still outstanding,” Beals said.

That data could be closely watched in a particularly tight election finish as ballot counting continues over the next few days.

Provisional votes are ballots set aside for further vetting due to confusion over a voter’s status or which polling place they’re assigned to. For the first time this year, that category also includes votes cast via same-day registration.

Beals said the state isn’t tracking how many voters are taking advantage of same-day registration in real time, but that data will be available after the election.

In another change required by state law, the state is now reporting early and absentee votes by precinct. That will offer  a more specific geographic breakdown than what was possible under the previous system, in which all absentee ballots were tabulated in a single absentee category.

3 weeks ago

Beals says no reports of voter harassment or intimidation in Virginia

By: - 4:43 pm
A polling place at Richmond’s Main Library on Nov. 8, 2022. (Sarah Vogelsong / Virginia Mercury)

Virginia Elections Commissioner Susan Beals said the state Department of Elections hasn’t received any specific reports of voter harassment or intimidation as Election Day enters its last few hours. 

Asked whether the department had heard of any reports that might not have been officially sent to the department, Beals said, “I can’t speak to reports that I don’t know about.” 

In the lead up to Election Day, concerns spread nationwide that voter intimidation could disrupt the Nov. 8 midterms. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found that two in five voters were worried about intimidation or threats of violence at the polls. 

Much of the attention has centered on the presence of armed members of QAnon-linked group Clean Elections USA at drop boxes in Maricopa County, Arizona. 

A federal judge last week ordered members of the group to stay at least 75 feet away from the Maricopa drop boxes and forbid them from following or speaking to voters who dropped ballots off there. Members were also barred from openly carrying firearms of visibly wearing body armor within 250 feet of a drop box.

Last updated: 4:46 pm

3 weeks ago

Some midday turnout numbers

By: - 2:17 pm
A yard decoration in Richmond, Va., on Nov. 8, 2022. (Sarah Vogelsong / Virginia Mercury)


With Election Day past the midday mark, some registrars around Virginia provided turnout numbers:

  • Virginia Beach (2nd District): Registrar Christine Lewis said 55,525 votes had been cast by around 1 p.m, in addition to 36,245 in-person early votes and 17,851 mail-in early votes. The city has about 330,000 registered voters. Turnout: ~33%
  • Southampton County (2nd and 4th Districts): Registrar Lynn Burgess said 2,860 voters of the county’s 13,000 registered voters had cast a ballot by 12:30 p.m., although a breakdown by district wasn’t available. As of Thursday, the county also had 295 voters by mail and 801 early in-person voters. Turnout: ~30% 
  • Greene County (7th District): As of 1 p.m., Greene County reported a voter turnout of 40% out of 14,833 registered voters, including mail-in, early and in-person votes.
  • King George (7th District): As of 2 p.m., King George County reported a voter turnout of 39% out of approximately 19,356 registered voters, including mail-in, early and in-person votes.
  • Madison County (7th District): The Madison registrar reported that voter turnout including day-of and early votes was at 39.62% as of 1 p.m.
  • Prince William County (7th and 10th Districts): As of 1 p.m., Prince William County reported a voter turnout of 32% out of approximately 316,000 registered voters, including mail-in, early and in-person votes.
  • Falls Church (8th District): Registrar Dave Bjerke, providing running turnout updates on Twitter, said turnout was at 47% as of 1 p.m., with 2,908 early votes of an overall 4,817 cast so far.
  • Fairfax County (8th and 11th Districts): According to the county Office of Elections, overall turnout around 1:30 p.m. was at roughly 38%, with an estimated 20.1% voter turnout today. 

Last updated: 3:24 pm

3 weeks ago

Pollbook problems slow voting in Richmond, Suffolk, Chesterfield and Nottoway

By: - 11:26 am

A handful of Virginia localities were having problems Tuesday morning with electronic pollbooks used to check voters in, but state officials said those issues have not prevented anyone from casting a ballot in the midterm elections.

In an 11 a.m. press briefing, Elections Commissioner Susan Beals said the city of Richmond, the city of Suffolk, Chesterfield County and Nottoway County had to switch to paper backups due to problems with digital pollbooks used to verify voters’ names and addresses. Those issues may have slowed down the pace of voting in some areas, Beals said, but voters are not being turned away.

“Every single locality that has electronic pollbooks is required to have a paper backup pollbook on site,” Beals said.

The only other issue of note, according to the briefing, was a power outage at a polling place in Wythe County, which officials resolved in about 10 minutes by activating a generator.

Beals said the state had received no reports of voter intimidation as of late Tuesday morning.

Last updated: 2:18 pm

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