Election officials in Henrico and Hanover counties said voter turnout in Tuesday's primary has been slow, despite party nomination contests that include all of Henrico's districts and more than half of Hanover's districts.
Three hours before polls were scheduled to close at 7 p.m. Henrico's election office said less than 5 percent of all registered voters in the county had cast ballots. Officials in Hanover's central election office said information about voter turnout would not be available until after polls close.
At polling locations located at Henrico schools, the few voters who trickled in to cast their votes had no problem finding parking or waiting to cast their ballot, as the school system chose to cancel classes Tuesday for the primary.
Bob Shippee, a member of the Henrico Electoral Board, said he believes turnout may pick up in the evening hours after graduation ceremonies for several Henrico High schools are done.
"We're hoping for a resurgence in the afternoon," he said. "So far it's been good. We've had beautiful weather today."
Precincts chiefs at Atlee High School in Hanover and Deep Run High School and John Rolfe Middle School in Henrico said there have been no problems at the polls, save for a few people who showed up to the wrong precinct.
Unlike Henrico, Hanover schools remained open Tuesday, leaving election officials to coordinate with the school system to prevent disruptions to the school day.
Ed Fleischer, the precinct chief at Atlee, said county election officials borrowed a large electronic sign from the Virginia Department of Transportation to direct people to a polling location in an auxiliary gym toward the back of the campus, but that some people reported having difficulty figuring out where to vote.
Warren Delaney, the precinct chief at Deep Run, said some voters were confused that they could not vote for both Republican and Democratic candidates in separate races. Voting in one party's primary precludes voting for a candidate in the other party.
Other than that, he said turnout has been "pretty good for what we've been predicting."
Voters in six Richmond-area legislative districts are picking nominees in primaries on Tuesday — four for the state Senate and two for the House of Delegates.
Senate District 10: civil litigation lawyer Eileen Bedell, community college administrator Ghazala Hashmi and University of Richmond law student Zachary Brown are seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Sen. Glen Sturtevant, R-Richmond.
Senate District 11: Amanda Pohl, an advocate for victims of sexual or domestic violence, and lawyer Wayne Powell are seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield.
Senate District 12: Del. Debra Rodman, D-Henrico, and lawyer Veena Lothe are seeking the Democratic nomination to take on Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico.
Senate District 16: former Del. Joe Morrissey is challenging Sen. Rosalyn Dance, D-Petersburg, for the Democratic nomination. There is no Republican candidate.
House District 62: Lindsey Dougherty, a Chesterfield County budget analyst, and Tavorise Marks, who works for the Virginia Department of Health, are seeking a seat that is open with the retirement of Del. Riley Ingram, R-Hopewell. The Republican nominee is Carrie Coyner, a member of the Chesterfield School Board.
House District 68: Garrison Coward, chief operating officer for a Richmond-based predictive analytics firm, and Lori Losi, a financial consultant for a recruiting firm, are seeking the Republican nomination to take on Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond.
Local government primaries
Chesterfield County voters are picking a Republican nominee for the Matoaca District seat on the Board of Supervisors. The candidates are Kevin Carroll, Craig Stariha and Rob Thompson.
Hanover County voters are picking GOP nominees for four seats on the Board of Supervisors.
In the Beaverdam District, the candidates are incumbent Bucky Stanley and Andy Schaeffer.
In the Chickahominy District, the candidates are incumbent Angela Kelly-Wiecek and Tom Walsh.
In the Cold Harbor District, the candidates are Paul Cash, F. Michael Herzberg and Sarah Via. The seat is open with Scott Wyatt’s run for the House of Delegates.
In the Mechanicsville District, the candidates are incumbent W. Canova Peterson and Ryan Hudson.
Henrico County voters are choosing a Democratic nominee for the Fairfield District seat on the Board of Supervisors, a Republican nominee for the Three Chopt District seat and a Democratic nominee for sheriff.
In the Fairfield District, voters will choose either incumbent Frank Thornton, Joseph Brown or Maurice Tyler as the Democratic nominee.
In the Three Chopt District, voters will choose incumbent Tommy Branin or Dishant Shah as the Republican nominee.
Seeking the Democratic nomination for sheriff are Harold Ford, Alisa Gregory and James Layne.