Updated: Polling Stations Experiencing Higher Turnout for Midterm Election
Precincts reported higher-than-average voter turnout numbers all across central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley as people took part in the midterm elections.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Precincts reported higher-than-average voter turnout numbers all across central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley as people took part in the midterm elections.
Traditionally, midterm elections draw fewer voters to the polls. However, this year's high-stakes election could decide whether Republicans hold onto their majority in both the House and Senate.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday, November 6, and closed at 7 p.m.
By Tuesday afternoon, the percentage of active-registered voters that had participated was:
- 51.47% in Albemarle County
- 49.3% in Charlottesville
- 65% in Fluvanna County
- 48.82% in Greene County
- 48% in Madison County
- 40.8% in Waynesboro
Nationally, midterm elections see a total of around 40 percent of eligible voters by the end of the day. Albemarle County Voter Registrar Jake Washburne said - based on large absentee ballot numbers - he expects turnout in the county to exceed 60 percent.
Some polling locations saw long lines earlier in the morning. While wait can vary, voters have told NBC29 that their experiences and interactions with polling officials have been overall good.
“We just did some errands and drove past and noted that the lines weren’t horrible here, which is a good thing. They’re pretty bad in the city. We’re lucky to have the Cale precinct,” said Jenny Robinson.
"Pretty much just walked right up and voted. It was a very easy form, the ballot was straightforward, and it was just too easy," Karen Leffler said.
"Inside the gymnasium, it was fairly calm and sparse and smooth, and everybody was friendly," said Nathaniel Galea.
Many voters say they went to the polls out of responsibility and to bring about whatever change they think is necessary.
Some of the races in the NBC29-viewing area are among the closest in the country: Republican Denver Riggleman and Democrat Leslie Cockburn are competing for the 5th District seat, while GOP incumbent Dave Brat is facing Democrat Abigail A. Spanberger in the 7th District, and Jennifer Lewis (D) is running against Delegate Ben Cline (R) for the 6th District.
Election officials are also reminding people to double-check where their voting location is before heading out to cast their vote.
"Please, everybody check to be sure you're registered, and please everybody check your voting location because we have had many changes of voting locations since last November. They will affect about 15,000 people, and much better to know that you're going to the right place before you go there," Washburne said.
You can search for your polling location by entering your address on the Virginia Department of Elections website.
Final numbers on voter turnout have not yet been released.