Few voters cast ballots

Published 10:13 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kitt Webb, right, checks in at the Morgan Memorial Library to vote in the Republican presidential primary on Tuesday. Candidate Mitt Romney won the Virginia contest by a hefty margin.

Suffolk voters helped propel Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to a decisive victory in Virginia over rival Ron Paul.

It was one of several wins for Romney in 10 states conducting primaries on “Super Tuesday,” the single biggest day in the nomination season. He had also won Vermont and Massachusetts as of News-Herald deadline.

In Suffolk, the former Massachusetts governor walloped the Texas congressman with 56 percent of the vote to Paul’s 44 percent.

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But statewide, Romney won by an even bigger margin — about 59 percent to 41.

About 3.9 percent of registered voters in Suffolk turned out. Statewide, the turnout was slightly higher.

The result was hardly surprising, considering two contenders weren’t on the ballot. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum had failed to garner enough signatures to appear on the ballot, and a lawsuit was unsuccessful in forcing the issue.

State elected leaders were quick to praise Romney’s victory.

“Needless to say, we are delighted with the results of tonight’s election, and we thank Republican voters from all across our state for turning out to give their support to Gov. Mitt Romney,” Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling said in an emailed statement.

Gov. Bob McDonnell agreed.

“Voters know that Mitt Romney is a strong, principled, results-oriented conservative who will bring people together to get our economy back on track and Americans back to work,” he said in an email.