By Burl Rolett and Chelsea Stevenson
Voter turnout was steady at several large and small precincts in Rockbridge County throughout the day, while traffic at Lexington’s polling place on Spotswood Drive began picking up the pace in the late afternoon.
“Turnout has been very well,” said Linda Lame, chief elections official in Vesuvius.
“It’s a little more than average for this time of the day,” said Pat Troppoli, chief elections official at Mountain View, near Buena Vista.
Only about 10 people waited in line to vote at Lexington’s polling place earlier in the day, in a scene that played out across the area in an off-year election.
“It’s just not a hotly contested national election,” said Bill Ricks, Rockbridge County’s chief election officer.
By noon, Ricks said, about 10 percent of Lexington’s registered voters had voted. He said he expects traffic to increase this evening, after voters get off work.
Ricks said he expects about 20 percent of the Lexington precinct’s 3,368 registered voters will make it to the polls by 7 p.m. when they close. The turnout, he said, is on par with similar elections for the precinct.
Lexington voters will elect a state senator and representative, but there are no national or statewide races on Tuesday’s ballot.
Incumbent Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County, is being challenged by Republican T.J. Aldous, a Charlottesville attorney, for Virginia’s 25th District senate seat. Republican Ben Cline, of Amherst, is unopposed in his campaign for a fourth term in Virginia’s House of Delegates.
Voters also will elect a Rockbridge County Commonwealth’s Attorney and a new Rockbridge County Sheriff. Local lawyer Josh Elrod is challenging incumbent Robert “Bucky” Joyce for the county prosecutor’s job. Three candidates are vying for the sheriff’s position.
“I was just so excited to vote and have it mean something again,” said Susan Williams, who moved back to Lexington in May after living in Washington, D.C., for 16 years.
Williams said she lost track of Virginia politics after living in D.C. for so long, but she said she researched the candidates before casting her vote.