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Madison hosts voters

Madison hosts voters

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Unassembled convention

Delegates line up to vote at Madison County High School during Saturday’s 2021 GOP unassembled convention.

More than 1,300 delegates voted Saturday at Madison County High School. The school was one of 39 drive-through polling sites around the state as part of the GOP’s 2021 unassembled convention.

Units in each Congressional District were assigned to a polling location. Those assigned to Madison County High School included Albemarle, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties and the city of Charlottesville. Voters cast ballots ranking the Republican candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. Seven candidates were on the ballot for governor, six for Lieutenant Governor and four for Attorney General. Candidates were ranked with one being the top choice. Voters rank the candidates according to their preferences. When ballots are counted, they’re given weight according to each delegation’s relative voting strength and go through rounds of counting and computations until one single candidate earns more than 50% of the total vote statewide.

Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson said the party was pleased with how Saturday’s convention went.

“The Republican Party of Virginia could not be happier with how smoothly and efficiently our convention was run today” he said in a statement issued Saturday evening. “I would like to thank the campaigns, their staff, and our countless volunteers for making this day a successful one. It is a promising sign of things to come that so many Republicans from across Virginia came out in record numbers and supported their candidates at the grassroots level.”

Locally, Madison County Republican Committee Chairman Jim Smith said the polling location at the high school went very well. He said Madison County actually hosted one of the approximately 15 convention sites last year, but less than 300 delegates attended the local site. Smith said originally only four counties were supposed to attend the Madison site this year, but that was increased to eight when Culpeper and Orange joined and it made more sense for Albemarle and Charlottesville to vote in Madison versus a location in Lynchburg. Smith said candidate for Governor Pete Snyder and candidate for Lieutenant Governor Lance Allen also attended Saturday’s event at the high school.

Smith said the event was a community collaboration with support from the school system as well as the sheriff’s office.

“The folks at Madison County High School were absolutely wonderful to work with,” he said. “Superintendent Anna Graham and Earl Keyes were most accommodating and helpful in their suggestions. And I cannot say enough good things about Sheriff Erik J Weaver and his staff who assisted on planning traffic flow and maintained a presence as Madison was being showcased on Saturday. We had attempted to get a permit for ‘event’ signs to place on 29 Northbound and Southbound, but the VDOT officials in Charlottesville would not use VDOT signs and would not issue a permit for us to place signs from a third party. Given the anticipated traffic, more patrolling was required and while there were mile long backups on occasion, there was not so much as a fender bender.”

Smith said he heard from several delegates who later enjoyed the day in Madison, meeting with fellow delegates at local eateries.

“The Republicans who voted had a great day because of Madison County High School and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Madison County restaurants and event sites were able to entertain some of the more than 1,400 visitors for the day,” Smith said.

As of mid-day Tuesday, ballots were still being hand-counted in Richmond, but two candidates had secured nominations. Jason Miyares of Virginia Beach is the Republican nominee for Attorney General. He beat out fellow Virginia Beach resident C.L. Chuck Smith, Jr., Northern Virginia’s Jack White and Leslie Haley of Chesterfield. Glenn Youngkin of Great Falls is the Republican nominee for Governor. He beat out Midlothian’s Amanda Chase, Kirk Cox of Colonial Heights, Peter Doran of Northern Virginia, Sergio de la Pena, Charlottesville’s Pete Snyder and Roanoke’s Octavia Johnson. The Lieutenant Governor race was still undetermined as of press time.

The Democratic Primary is scheduled for June 8. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Five Democrats are seeking the nomination for Governor, seven are seeking the Lieutenant Governor nomination and one is taking on incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring. For more information, contact the Madison County Registrar at 948-6533.

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