Some Lynchburg City precincts ran out of ballots for Tuesday’s special election in the 22nd Senate District, according to the News & Advance and voters in the area, after higher-than-expected turnout.
In Fluvanna and Goochland, sources familiar with turnout said it was approaching 25 percent, high numbers for a special election.
Lynchburg voters arriving were not happy when they found they could not cast their ballots. From the News & Advance :
Lynchburg voters looking to cast their ballots in the special election for the 22nd Senate District today are encountering an unusual snag in the democratic process – voting precincts out of ballots.
Voter Leighton Dodd, who said he planned to vote for Democrat Ryant Washington, told The News & Advance that he tried to vote at 11:30 a.m. at Bedford Hills School precinct but there were no ballots. When he came back after lunch around 1 p.m., the precinct had ran out again.
“To not have enough ballots is ridiculous,” Dodd said as he sat in a line of 30 voters who were waiting for more ballots to be delivered so that they could cast their votes in the special election.
Despite reports of a slow morning, a resident who arrived at Lynchburg’s First Christian Church at 5:20 was voter number 468, and reported that people were “flooding in to vote.”
One volunteer who arrived at a Lynchburg precinct at 7:30 this morning, reported that 100 ballots were originally sent by the electoral board, and those were gone by 11:30. They were resupplied and ran out again after two hours but were quickly given 100 more ballots. The last batch, however, cannot be read by the scanner so they will need to be counted by hand.
With polls closing at 7:00, it is unknown if the snafu will cause a delay in counting and reporting final results but one volunteer said it was going to be a long night.
UPDATE #1: Democrat Ryant Washington lost his home precinct by 21 votes.
UPDATE #2: Washington lost in Buckingham County where he was born and raised. Votes in Fluvanna, where he is the former sheriff, are still being counted.
UPDATE #3: A poll worker in Lynchburg who is now counting votes by hand said it may be awhile before those results are available.
UPDATE #4: With 67 out of 85 precincts reporting in the district, the results at this point are 54% for Peake to 37% for Washington and 8% for Hines.
UPDATE #5: Results are in for Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Louisa, and Prince Edward. The only location left is Lynchburg, and there are no results reports for any of the 12 precincts as of 8:25pm.
UPDATE #6 – 9:02pm: With ballots still being counted in Lynchburg, the Democratic Party has conceded and Mark Peake is giving his victory speech in Lynchburg. Congratulations, State Senator Mark Peake!