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.)
The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.
Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.
Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.
At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.
Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.
The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.
Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.
The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), in partnership with the Virginia Film Office, will offer "Get Your Start in the Film Industry," a two-day seminar designed to prepare workers for film, television and commercial projects in Virginia. The course will be held Oct. 4-5 at the Workforce Development and Conference Center, 1651 Parham Road in Henrico, on the campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.
The training will be taught by Gary Romolo Fiorelli, an accomplished assistant director for film and television projects, which include the television series Sons of Anarchy and ABC’s current drama Mistresses. > Read more.
The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.
“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”
The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.
Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.
Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?
Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.
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