Low voter turnout for primaries

Published 9:55 pm Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The turnout was low for the Virginia primary elections in Suffolk on Tuesday, with some precincts seeing fewer than 20 people before 3 p.m.

Plenty of things were probably factors in the low turnout — the rain, the strictly Republican ticket and the historically low turnout of primary elections.

“It’s kind of the weather for some of it,” said Chief Officer of Election Mary Holland, who works at the Hollywood Precinct located at the East Suffolk Recreation Center. “According to some voters, they don’t like to vote during the primaries.”

Email newsletter signup

Suffolk Republicans were able to choose among three candidates to represent their party for Senate. Republicans living in Virginia’s 4th District for the House of Representatives also had a primary between two candidates.

For the Senate seat, Suffolk voters gave Corey A. Stewart a narrow edge over Nick J. Freitas. Stewart gained 1,095 Suffolk votes compared to Freitas’ 1,066. E.W. Jackson was in third place with 577.

It was close on the statewide level as well, with Freitas having the upper hand at press time.

Election-night results in Suffolk were not as close for the House of Representatives primary. Ryan A. McAdams got nearly 80 percent of the Suffolk vote over Shion A. Fenty.

McAdams also easily won the district-wide vote.

Sen. Tim Kaine and Congressman Donald McEachin are both running uncontested to return to the general elections in November, and this left only Republicans on the ticket.

For some locations, could have been a bigger deterrence to voters. The Wilroy Precinct caters to a lot of seniors, according to the Chief Officer of the Election Cynthia Scott.

“The rain probably deterred them, because we have an older precinct. The parking lot is far away from the entrance,” Scott said.

The precinct votes at Mack Benn Jr. Elementary School, and they only saw 30 voters before 3 p.m. Both precincts experienced people walking in and not voting once they learned there was no Democratic primary.

For some, the weather and the ticket didn’t stop them from going to their polling place to vote.

Robert Shawley made his way out to the Wilroy Precinct.

“I came out, because it’s my civic duty,” Shawley said. “I always say if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. You have no right to argue, because you get what you pay for.”