There were some electoral upsets yesterday as Virginia voters in 48 localities cast their ballots in state and local primaries. Among the most contested were 18 elections to nominate candidates for the General Assembly—including challenges to nine incumbent Senators and Delegates.
Among the Republicans, Chesapeake Senator John Cosgrove and Augusta Senator Emmett Hanger handily won. But long-time Chesterfield Senator Steve Martin was defeated by Amanda Chase.
Democratic Senator Rosalyn Dance of Petersburg prevailed over Delegate Joe Preston.
After the State Board of Elections in April decertified the touchscreen voting machines used in 20 percent of Virginia’s precincts, the localities with June primaries were left scrambling to find replacements for their WinVote equipment in time. But a state elections official says one way or another, the voters there will be accommodated. While localities are implementing a variety of short-term fixes, the state is working on a more long-term, uniform solution.
An interim study by the Virginia Department of Elections indicates that numerous localities have voting machines that are wearing out—and some have potential security problems. The investigation was prompted by reports of irregularities during last November’s election. The result could be a new and costly requirement to replace some widely used touch-screen voting machines.
Though it's not yet official Democrat Mark Warner appears to have narrowly won reelection to the US Senate in a contest that was much closer than anticipated. Even in apparent victory, Warner's national brand may have been tarnished by his election night struggle against Republican Ed Gillespie.
In the 6th Congressional District, Bob Goodlatte beat Libertarian Will Hammer and Independent Green candidate Elaine Hildebrandt to win a 12th term. The Democrats did not field a candidate in this race.
In the 9th Congressional District, in southwest Virginia, Republican Morgan Griffith bested Independent William Carr to win a third term and the Democrats did not field a candidate in this race either.
Morgan Griffith had good reason to look relaxed as he met voters in Radford a few hours before the polls closed.