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Voters didn’t get the memo: Turnout low for GOP Primary

Tuesday was Republican Primary Day in Virginia, but county voters didn’t seem to get the memo.

Four candidates appeared on the GOP U. S. Senate Primary ballot Tuesday including former Virginia Governor and U. S. Senator George Allen, Virginia Delegate R. G. “Bob” Marshall, Bishop E. W. Jackson and Tea Party activist Jamie Radtke. 

The winner of Tuesday’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate faces Democrat Tim Kaine on Nov. 6 in what is considered to be one of the most competitive elections in the country. 

Halifax County Voter Registrar Judy Meeler said Tuesday morning she wasn’t expecting much of a crowd at the polls. 

“I’m looking for 3 or 4 percent, about like in March,” she said speaking of the Republican Presidential Primary when very few voters turned out.

Although a GOP primary, the ballot wasn’t restricted to Republicans Tuesday. The open primary allowed any registered voter to cast a ballot.

Meeler said her office had received 16 absentee ballots for the primary election Tuesday.

The new voter ID law also was not in effect in Tuesday’s Primary.

The governor signed HB9/SB1 into law on May 18. It goes into effect July 1, subject to Department of Justice preclearance. 

However, it will be in effect for the Nov. 6 General Election, according to State Board of Elections officials.

This law will require voters to show identification from the following expanded list of acceptable options: 

• Commonwealth of Virginia voter registration card 

• Social Security card 

• Valid Virginia driver’s license 

• Any other identification card issued by a government agency of the commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States  

• Any valid student identification card issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Virginia 

• Any valid employee identification card issued containing a photograph of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business 

• A copy of a current utility bill 

• A copy of a current bank statement 

• A copy of a current government check 

• A paycheck that shows the name and address of the voter 

• A concealed handgun permit 

Any voter who does not show one of these forms of identification at the polls will be asked to vote a provisional ballot. The voter must supply a copy of one of these acceptable forms to the local electoral board by noon the Friday after the election before his or her vote can be counted. 

For more information, contact the State Board of Elections at 804-864-8901 or 1-800-552-9745.