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Super Tuesday: What to know about Virginia's 2020 presidential primary in Charlottesville

With Super Tuesday on the horizon, registered voters in Virginia, 13 other states and American Samoa will have an opportunity to weigh in on a full field of Democratic candidates vying to challenge President Donald Trump.

Because Virginia is an open primary, any registered voter can cast a ballot regardless of their party registration. A Republican primary will not be held on Tuesday because Trump is running for re-election and is expected to be selected as the Republican nominee at a party convention.

Who is on the ballot? Fourteen names will appear on the ballot, although only eight are still in the race.

The remaining candidates are Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, billionaire Tom Steyer and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Deval Patrick, Andrew Yang, Michael Bennet and Marianne Williamson remain on the ballot, even though they have suspended their campaigns.

The ballot still reflects all the candidates who originally filed to run in Virginia’s primary, said Jamie Virostko, Charlottesville’s voter registration manager, because the Department of Elections has not notified local elections offices about candidates’ formal withdrawal.

Sanders, who lost the nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016, is considered the frontrunner for the nomination after receiving the most popular votes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. He has 45 of the necessary 1,991 delegates needed to secure the nomination, 20 ahead of Buttigieg.

The majority of delegates will be handed out on the so-called Super Tuesday, with Virginia joining 13 states and the territory of American Somoa casting ballots.

The latest poll for Virginia, by Monmouth University covering mid-February, shows Sanders and Bloomberg tied at 22% followed by Biden at 18%.

Where and when do I vote? Across the commonwealth, all polls will be open on Tuesday from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Voters in line by 7 p.m. are still eligible to vote.

The City of Charlottesville’s voter registrar’s office will remain open Tuesday although many offices will be closed for the local Liberation and Freedom Day.

Any voter still unsure of their voting location can visit or call the Charlottesville voter registrar at (434) 970-3250 or the Albemarle County voter registrar at (434) 972-4173.

Absentee Voting for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary began on Jan. 16, but it’s not too late to cast an absentee ballot in Virginia.

Voters had until Tuesday, Feb. 25, to request an absentee ballot through the mail, but still can absentee vote in person until Saturday, Feb. 29.

The Charlottesville voter registrar’s office will be open Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Albemarle County office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Charlottesville office is located in the City Hall Annex at 120 7th Street NE, Room 142. The Albemarle office is located within the County Office Building at 1600 5th Street.


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