Turnout surged in midterm elections; Poll finds most Va. voters think country is headed in the wrong direction; squirrel tries to foil voting in Blacksburg and other headlines

NEWS TO KNOW
Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

There was impressive turnout in yesterday’s midterm elections, with voters swarming polling places and exceeding 2014 voter turnout all over the state, like in RichmondHampton RoadsLynchburg, Roanoke, Fredericksburg and Bristol.

Take a look at how each of Virginia’s precincts voted through this Virginian Pilot interactive map.

Things mostly went smoothly, but there were a few hiccups around the state.

—A survey conducted by AP VoteCast found that 62 percent of Virginia’s midterm voters think the country is headed in the wrong direction, compared to just 37 percent who think it’s on the right track. The top issue on voters’ minds, the survey found, was health care, followed by immigration, the economy, gun policy and the environment. (Associated Press)

—Voters backed both of the constitutional amendments on Tuesday’s ballot. (The Daily Progress)

—Democratic challenger Jennifer Wexton’s victory over Barbara Comstock in Northern Virginia has turned the D.C. region’s entire congressional delegation blue. (The Washington Post)

—A School Board candidate in Richmond distributed illegal sample ballots, initially without a disclosure stating who authorized the ads, as the state requires. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

—A bomb threat in York County delayed voting by 10 to 15 minutes Tuesday morning. (The Daily Press)

—Voting officials in Roanoke reverted to using paper books to check voters in after they found problems with the electronic pollbooks they normally use. The laptops have become increasingly problematic since they were acquired in 2014. (The Roanoke Times)

—And a squirrel appeared to resent democracy, taking the power out at two polling places in Blacksburg at around 4:15 p.m. But the rodent didn’t ruin the day. Backup batteries allowed voting to continue, and power was restored by 6 p.m. (The Roanoke Times)

Other headlines:

—Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker has called for the removal of the city’s Lewis and Clark statue, which has raised concerns of the depiction of Sacagawea. The statue depicts the two explorers standing upright, gazing westward, and Sacagawea in a crouched position. (Charlottesville Tomorrow)

—Crystal City is still in the running for a new Amazon headquarters, but the company seems to have changed course slightly and may now split the expansion between Virginia and Long Island City in Queens. Virginia officials are prepared to make the announcement soon. (The Washington Post)

—A more than 12-hour meeting in Atlanta seemed to bring the railroad company Norfolk Southern Corp. one step closer to relocating its headquarters there from Virginia, but some questions remain unanswered. (The Virginian Pilot)

—Charlottesville is trying to get ahead of the scooter ride-sharing fad, and has launched a pilot program of regulations. (The Daily Progress)

—An Abingdon woman won $100,000 from a Virginia scratch-off lottery ticket. She had to silently scream to herself when she realized it at 2 a.m. to avoid waking her family. (Bristol Herald Courier)