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Charlottesville leads state in early voting

A little more than halfway through the early voting period for Virginia’s legislative primary elections — the first to be conducted under newly drawn district lines — hotly contested Democratic races in Petersburg and the Charlottesville area have drawn the most interest, according to state election data compiled by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project.

VPAP publishes regular updates to early vote totals for both the state Senate and the House of Delegates, with breakdowns between early in-person votes and mail-in absentee ballots, though no information on candidates for whom votes are cast is released until after the polls close on June 20.

Democrats have submitted more than three times as many early votes — approximately 33,600 in Senate races and 16,800 in House of Delegates elections — than Republicans, who have cast roughly 8,800 Senate and 5,500 House votes so far.

No primary in the state has had more votes cast early, either by mail or in person, than the race to determine the Democratic nominee in Senate District 11, which runs along Route 29 from the northern edge of Albemarle County to just outside of Lynchburg. Nearly 5,000 ballots had been cast in that race as of Tuesday morning. The winner of that race between Sen. Creigh Deeds and Del. Sally Hudson is expected to be a heavy favorite over a Republican opponent in November’s general election.

The race in the new Senate District 13, where former Del. Lashrecse Aird is looking to unseat Sen. Joe Morrissey, has also drawn significant interest, with 3,781 votes cast so far.

Democratic primaries in and around Charlottesville are also the most voted-in House of Delegates races. Over 2,000 votes have been submitted in both House District 54, where a three-way race is underway between Bellamy Brown, Katrina Callsen and Dave Norris to represent the city of Charlottesville and part of Albemarle County, and House District 55, where Amy Laufer and Kellen Squire are facing off for the nomination.

Early vote numbers have been smaller in Republican primaries. No GOP Senate race has drawn more than 2,000 votes, while the most heavily voted-in Republican House contests have not broken the 900-vote mark.

The Republican contest that has seen the most early votes is in Chesterfield, where Glen Sturtevant Jr. and Tina Ramirez are looking to knock off Sen. Amanda Chase; 1,933 votes have been cast in that primary so far.

Tuesday was the final day to register to vote for the June primaries. Registered voters can request mail-in absentee ballots until June 9, and in-person early votes can be cast until June 17.

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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