Remember The Bowl: Virginia Voters Say Each Ballot Makes A Difference
VPM Digital Producers Angela Massino, Louise Keaton, Ashley Branch, Victoria York and Alyssa Johnson contributed to election day reporting.
Residents across Virginia cast ballots Tuesday in a closely watched election that drew strong turnout in many precincts. Jaquline Brown lives on Richmond’s Northside. She said she wants to see changes in her community, the city and the state.
“I have a passion for children because I’m a preschool teacher, also for our seniors, healthcare, minimum wages being lifted, everything that’s concerning to people,” said Brown.
Jim Hill has lived in the Carver neighborhood for nearly 30 years and say he votes, even when elections are uncontested. The issues that hit closest to home for him are LGBTQ rights, passage of the ERA and increased education voting.
“Remember the bowl,” said Hill, “Remember when it came down to a contested or a tied election that resulted in not just that position, but control of one of the houses of the General Assembly. So vote, so don’t leave it up to chance.”
Sarah Legare said she wasn’t excited about the choices on her ballot, but says it’s important to stay engaged in the democratic process.
“The schools are a really big issue and making sure everyone has access to transportation and benefits and healthcare and other resources they need to live healthy lives,” she said.
Ralph Hodge is a Henrico resident who says local elections have a big impact on communities.
“My ancestors fought for this right,” said Hodge, “So I’m not going to waste my vote, I vote in all elections.”
Varina voter Robert Snipes agrees, describing a vote as “your voice.”
“That’s how we tell legislators, governance, what is important to us. And if we read platforms and educate ourselves as an electorate, then we can effect change from the ground up,” said Snipes.
In Chesterfield, Jeff Bayard said it’s his responsibility as a citizen to be engaged in politics. He’s supporting candidates that preach fiscal responsibility.
“When they get there, that may be another matter,” he said.
Mykael Outen-Kurth, another Chesterfield resident, says there are a lot of important issues in the county that brought her to the polls.
“I want to make sure everyone has the same equal opportunities to live and be protected in the state,” said Outen-Kurth adding that candidates that support LGBTQ rights were a priority for her.
All 140 seats in the General Assembly were up for election, though about 40 were uncontested.