Polls Closed in VIrginia; Now, Who Takes Home the Delegates? | NBC4 Washington

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Polls Closed in VIrginia; Now, Who Takes Home the Delegates?

Virginia -- a battleground state with scores of delegates up for grabs -- is one of nearly a dozen states holding primaries on Super Tuesday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Virginia voters are streaming to their polling places this Super Tuesday, and many News4 talked to say they aren't thrilled with their choices. Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver spoke with some of them. (Published Tuesday, March 1, 2016)

    Editor's Note: This story is no longer being updated. For the latest on Virginia results, click here.

    Polls closed at 7 p.m. in Virginia, where primary voters cast their ballots for the Republican and Democratic nominees for president.

    Virginia -- a battleground state with scores of delegates up for grabs -- is one of nearly a dozen states holding primaries on Super Tuesday. The outcomes could go a long way in determining both parties' eventual winners.

    Voters Say Election Too Important to Stay Home

    [DC] Voters Say This Election Is Too Important to Stay Home
    Voter turnout has been brisk Tuesday in Virginia, where voters are flocking to the polls to make their pick for presidential candidates. (Published Tuesday, March 1, 2016)

    Republicans are voting in 11 states, with 595 delegates at stake; 49 of those are in Virginia. Democrats are casting ballots in 11 states as well as American Samoa, with 865 delegates up for grabs; 95 of those are in Virginia.

    In Fairfax County, election officials say more than 700,000 people have registered to vote, an increase of nearly 100,000 voters from 2008.

    Many voters say this election is too important to stay home. Voters had lined up in many polling places early Tuesday, before polls had even opened. 

    "This is an important election," one voter said. "I'm a little concerned about getting two really good candidates.... It's been a pretty wild election season. It's been entertaining up 'til now, but I'm thinking it's not funny anymore."

    "A lot is at stake in this country at the moment," another voter said.

    And a lot of Virginia delegates are at stake for the candidates, which is why many of the presidential hopefuls have visited in recent weeks, hoping to sway voters.

    "I was definitely leaning one way, and kind of changed my mind over the course of the campaign," said another voter.

    John Whitbeck, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said GOP voters were fired up to get to the polls.

    "The evidence is clear that we're looking at a record turnout in Virginia,'' he said.

    Susan Swecker, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said she expected turnout on the Democratic side to be "robust," but wasn't sure whether it would be record setting. She noted that there are only two candidates running for the Democratic side, Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, compared with five GOP candidates.

    Even before polls opened Tuesday, voters were weighing in.

    "Our absentee voting has been very robust," said Lisa Connors, a spokeswoman for Fairfax County. "We have several t hrousand voters more than we did back in 2008."

    Whoever wins Virginia is also likely to bolster their case that they can do well in the general election, as the Old Dominion has a diverse electorate and is expected to be a pivotal swing state.

    "Virginia is America in miniature," said Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. "A win here means more than a win in a lot of other states."

    Delegates for both parties will be awarded proportionally.

    What You Need to Know

    • Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Virginia. Voters in line at 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast ballots after that time, but they must be in line by then.

    • Registered voters can find their polling places online here.

    • A current photo ID will be required to vote (see acceptable forms of ID here). Registered voters who forget their IDs may cast provisional ballots. If your ID is expired, go to your nearest Voter Registration Office (see a PDF of locations here) and apply for a free Virginia Voter Photo ID Card, which you can get the same day.

    • The primaries are open, which means each registered voter can choose to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary.

    • Voters will not have to sign a loyalty pledge to vote in a party's primary. Although the Republican Party of Virginia initially wanted voters in its primary to sign a form stating they were Republicans, the party backed off the pledge after a public outcry, as well as criticism from GOP front-runner Donald Trump and his supporters.

    • Voters should be aware that the ballots for Virginia's primary were printed weeks ago and actually list several candidates on them who are no longer running.

    Candidates Visit Virginia

    Virtually every candidate in both parties made at least one stop in Virginia in the run-up to the primary.

    Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) will hold a primary day rally at George Mason University Law School from noon to 1 p.m. Doors will open at 11 a.m. Those who wish to attend may RSVP online.

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) held a four-stop tour around the commonwealth Sunday, and has recently consolidated a large amount of the state GOP establishment's support. Rubio and a super PAC supporting him recently purchased more than $400,000 of airtime in Virginia's four biggest TV markets, according to the nonprofit Virginia Public Access Project. Clinton's campaign has bought more than $360,000.

    Donald Trump (R) was at Virginia Beach's Regent University last week and was set to hold a rally Monday evening at Radford University in southwest Virginia, home to a large number of blue-collar voters more likely to support him. Trump has made small TV ad buys around the state. A super PAC devoted to attacking Trump announced Friday that it was running radio ads attacking him in parts of central Virginia.

    Sec. Hillary Clinton (D) spoke Monday in Northern Virginia, home to wealthier, more liberal voters, and in Hampton Roads, which has a high concentration of African-American voters. The Clinton campaign has focused on courting black voters in Virginia, lining up support from most African-American state lawmakers. And Gov. Terry McAuliffe is a longtime family friend and confidante.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt. ) has shown momentum in Virginia. A rally he held in Norfolk drew thousands.

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Dr. Ben Carson (R) recently appeared at Regent University's presidential candidate series in Virginia Beach.