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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State Police urge motorists to #MoveOver during Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day signifies the official start of summer, and Virginia State Police officials are urging motorists to "do what’s right when they see lights" and move over.

The “Move Over” law is a lifesaving law intended to protect public safety professionals and highway workers who help to maintain the safety of the Commonwealth’s roads. State Police are using the #MoveOver hashtag on social media to promote the law. > Read more.

Henrico to hold June 8 open house on Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill study

The Henrico County Planning Department will hold an open house Thursday, June 8 for residents and other members of the public to provide input for a study of the Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill areas.

The open house will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Varina Area Library, 1875 New Market Road. The meeting’s informal structure will allow the public to attend at their convenience and to ask questions and discuss the study one on one with Planning staff. > Read more.

Henrico real estate staying strong despite low inventory

The Henrico real estate market has been relatively strong for the past month, despite a lower amount of inventory, according to data from Long and Foster Real Estate.

In the past month, 408 homes have been sold in Henrico, which is 2 percent less than were sold in the same timeframe in 2016.

Last year the median sale prices for Henrico homes was $219,975, whereas this month it's up to $232,500, a 6 percent increase. Which means half of the homes in Henrico are priced above $232,500 and half are priced below. > Read more.

Smither named director of Henrico’s Department of Finance

Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas has appointed Edward N. “Ned” Smither Jr. to serve as director of the Department of Finance, effective July 1.

Smither has served Henrico since 2013 as director of the Accounting Division in Finance. He will succeed Eugene H. Walter, who has delayed his retirement until June 30 to ensure an orderly transition within the department.
> Read more.

State honors EMS officials this week

There were nearly 1.5 million emergency medical services calls and 4,063 incidents per day in Virginia just last year.

This week, May 21-27, declared as National EMS week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, recognizes the more than 34,000 EMS personnel and 631 agencies in the state and commends their efforts and commitment to Commonwealth citizens.
> Read more.

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Jewish Family Theatre will present “Bad Jews” at 7:30 p.m. May 10-11 and at 2 p.m. May 14 at the Weinstein Jewish Community Center, 5403 Monument Ave. This production, directed by Debra Clinton, has strong language and is recommended for an adult audience. Tickets are $20 for JCC members, $30 for nonmembers and $15 for seniors and students. For details, call 285-6500 or visit http://www.weinsteinjcc.org. Full text

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