Election Day is just around the corner and the anticipation of who will be elected grows daily. With reporting totals by precinct for all absentee voting comes the increased time after the polls close to obtain the unofficial results.
“Results may not be available as early as in past elections,” County Registrar Traci Clark said in a recent email. “This is due to the change in reporting absentee totals by precinct and the time it takes for the results tapes to run once the polls are closed. There are more offices and candidates on this ballot than last November’s ballots as well. It took over 45 minutes for the final results tape to run with less than 200 ballots being scanned during our logic and accuracy testing. There are also several offices that have candidates running write-in campaigns which also increases the time to run the results tapes.
“Some precincts may take less time depending on the number of offices and candidates on their ballots but overall, you may notice a delay. Be assured that my office and the election officers will work diligently to get the results reported as accurately and soon as possible.”
For town offices, there will also be a delay due to the write-ins for the open seats. Write-ins will not be reviewed until the day after the election during the canvass of votes. The total number of write-in votes will be reported on election night but the breakdown by specific name will not come until after canvass is completed. Again, these results will be reported as soon as possible.
“As leaders in the parties, county, and as candidates, I ask that you help spread the word on the potential delay,” Clark added. “Voters have little concept of the processes required after the polls close on election night and I am sure a delay may fuel rumors of misconduct. As laws change, so do the processes and usually they add time to the end-of-night requirements. No totals can be pulled until the polls close at 7 p.m. per state law.”
Saturday, November 4 is the final day for early voting. The Registrar’s Office will be open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Voters must report to their assigned precincts on Election Day to vote. No voting takes place in the Registrar’s Office on Election Day. Voters can check their polling location on the Virginia Department of Elections website (vote.virginia.gov) or by calling the Registrar’s Office at 540-928-2120.
The 2023 Election Day Ballot
Write-in candidates are allowed on all offices if not choosing a listed candidate. Offices with multiple seats open can have multiple write-ins. The total number of candidates a voter can vote for is listed below each office name on the ballot. Below is a list of the items on the November 2023 ballot in Botetourt County that include the state Senate race in the 3rd District between Christopher Head (R) and Jade D. Harris (D) and the 37th District House of Delegates contest between Terry Austin (R) and Stephanie R. Clark (D).
Seats are open in the elections for Buchanan (2) and Troutville (3) town councils. Marlon Rickman (Buchanan) and Laura Bumgarner (Troutville) are the only names on those ballots for both town’s council seats, respectively.
Member Senate of Virginia – 3rd District
- Christopher T. Head (R)
- Jade D. Harris (D)
Member House of Delegates – 37th District
- Terry L. Austin (R)
- Stephanie R. Clark (D)
Clerk of Court
- Tommy L. Moore
- John R.H. Alexander II
- Matthew T. Ward
Commissioner of Revenue
- Chris T. Booth
- Donna C. Boothe
Soil & Water Conservation Director
Mountain Castles District (2 seats open)
- Preston Wickline III
Member Board of Supervisors — Blue Ridge District
- Walter G. Michael
Member School Board — Blue Ridge District
- Matthew J. East
Member Board of Supervisors — Fincastle District
- Brandon W. Nicely
- Donald Thomas Obenshain
Member School Board — Fincastle District
- Dana C. McCaleb
Member Board of Supervisors — Valley District
- Donald M. “Mac” Scothorn
Member School Board — Valley District
- Timothy J. “Tim” Davidick
Member Town Council – Town of Buchanan (2 seats open)
- Marlon E. Rickman
Member Town Council — Town of Troutville (3 seats open)
- Laura C. Bumgarner
~ Fincastle Herald staff report