Voter turnout low countywide but heavier in Varina District

UPDATED: Nov. 8, 4:07 P.M. – Voter turnout in Henrico County was sluggish as of 2 p.m., but voters in the Varina District were turning out in slightly higher numbers than their counterparts elsewhere in the county.

Turnout varied between 12 percent and 22 percent in the county's five magisterial districts as of mid-afternoon, Henrico Registrar Mark Coakley told the Citizen.

"It's been heavier in Varina, which we figured it would be," Coakley said. Varina District voters are choosing a supervisor from a three-candidate field – Republican incumbent Jim Donati, Democrat Tyrone Nelson and independent Reese Haller. Independent Gerald Baker also is running a write-in campaign.

In addition, voters in the Ninth Virginia Senate District, which includes Eastern Henrico, arrived at the polls to find a surprise name on signs – Eastern Henrico insurance agent Floyd Mays, who quietly launched a write-in campaign this week in an attempt to unseat Democrat Donald McEachin.

Countywide, most precincts witnessed steady traffic in the morning and a drop off in the afternoon, Coakley said.

"We expect it will pick up again at night once people go home and see coverage on the news," he said.

During the last local elections in 2007, about one quarter (24.75 percent) of the county's 175,000 registered voters cast ballots. This year, Henrico has almost 200,000 registered voters, Coakley said.

Aside from a morning glitch that affected 954 voters at 19 county precincts, Coakley said that the day had gone smoothly. That glitch resulted in the affected voters being told – incorrectly – that their precinct had changed, when in fact they had reported to the correct location.

County officials identified the errors immediately, Coakley said, and had the voters cast provisional ballots, which will count.

Some voters contacted the Citizen, confused about why the party affiliations of some candidates were listed while those of others were not. Coakley said that Virginia law forbids ballots from listing the party affiliation of any candidate for local office but requires the affiliation of candidates for state office to be listed.

So, while candidates for the General Assembly appeared on this year's ballot with their affiliations noted, candidates for the Board of Supervisors and Commonwealth's Attorney did not. (Candidates for School Board are not permitted to run with party affiliations.)
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Applications for Leadership Metro Richmond Class of 2018 now open

Applications for the Leadership Metro Richmond (LMR) flagship program Leadership Quest are now open at http://www.lmronline.org until May 1. Community leaders from Ashland, Charles City, Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, Powhatan and the City of Richmond are encouraged to apply.

All interested candidates are encouraged to attend a recruitment reception March 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Markel Corporation, 4501 Highwoods Parkway in Glen Allen. The reception will give candidates the opportunity to meet current LMR members and learn more about the organization. > Read more.

Reynolds CC 4-week, 8-week classes start March 7


Classes start March 7 for Reynolds Community College’s second 8-week and third 4-week spring semester sessions. Registration for both sessions is currently open and runs through the start of classes. Students can register 24 hours per day online by visiting http://www.reynolds.edu. Students can also register in-person in Enrollment Services located on each campus. > Read more.

Public comment sought for plan to reduce impacts of natural disasters

The joint Hazard Mitigation Technical Advisory Committee for the Richmond and Crater regions is seeking public comment on the draft update of the Richmond-Crater Multi-Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Hazard mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the potential impact of future disasters. The 26 localities of the Richmond and Crater regions maintain the plan to collaboratively identify vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters and develop long-term strategies to reduce or eliminate long-term risks. > Read more.

Democrat VanValkenburg kicks off Gen. Assembly campaign


Senior students at Glen Allen High School will get a personal touch when studying elections with their AP government teacher.

That teacher, Schuyler VanValkenburg, recently announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for the 72nd District seat in the House of Delegates. If he earns the nomination, he will run against Del. Jimmie Massie, R-Henrico, who has been unopposed for 10 years.

VanValkenburg, a 2004 University of Richmond alumnus who majored in history, is running for office for the first time. Although he has lived in Richmond since he began his undergraduate studies, aside from one year spent in Seattle, he said he never felt it was his time to run. > Read more.

Construction begins on JA Finance Park at Libbie Mill


School and business leaders from around the region, including (pictured, from left) Simon Hodges of Dominion Resources, Daphne Swanso(president of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia) and Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas, gathered at Libbie Mill Library Feb. 23 for the Junior Achievement Finance Park construction kickoff. > Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Given the warm weather lately, Saturday’s RVA Polar Plunge Winter Fest, benefiting Special Olympics Virginia, might actually be enjoyable! Other weekend events you’re sure to enjoy include the 14th annual Richmond Kids Expo at the Richmond Raceway Complex, the Richmond Symphony and The Taters in concert at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, and the Richmond Ballet Minds in Motion Team XXL performing at the Henrico Theatre. This is also the last weekend to check out HATTheatre’s production of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob.” For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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The Henrico County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Henrico Master Gardeners will present a series of free workshops this spring to help residents care for their lawns and gardens. The third workshop, “Planning and Planting the Perennial Flower Garden,” will take place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Deep Run Recreation Center. The session will focus on laying out a garden, selecting plants and seeds, and strategies for growing flowers that return each spring with little maintenance. To register, call 501-5160. Full text

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