Ballot counting continues into the night for VA-04 Democrat Primary

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 10:02 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - It’s been over 24 hours after polls closed on Tuesday and the Democratic nominee for the 4th congressional district has still yet to be determined.

“We had over 26,000 voters participate. That is the largest firehouse primary in Virginia history,” Alexis Rodgers, chair of the 4th congressional district, said.

In a primary planned within a week, some called 12 On Your Side to complain about extremely long lines at the eight voting precincts on Tuesday.

When asked about it on Wednesday, Rodgers said they did the best they could in the time they had.

“We really wanted to make sure that we ran a very tight process, I think as we saw yesterday, Democrats were enthusiastic they waited in lines,” Rodgers said. “Sometimes the lines appeared longer than they were, so I’m pretty proud of the process.”

Throughout the day, volunteers have been counting ballots by hand, the thousands of votes coming out of each precinct’s voting box.

The votes are then placed into four piles for each candidate.

“We have every person counting things twice, we don’t want any instances of a ballot getting lost under a desk or whoops as I shuffled it from one place to another something got misconstrued,” Rodgers said. “We do have a small room and a limited team of people, but that is to make sure that there are as few hands touching these ballots and we get the count right.”

Only five people were counting the ballots when it started at 10 a.m., but that number later changed to 11.

“Compare this to the 2016 statewide primary with 15,000 voters, when the 4th district was left to come up with a plan within 7 days to have a firehouse primary, and you have this kind of turnout, I think people voted,” Susan Swecker, with the Democratic Party of Virginia, said.

With a candidate needed to be named by Friday, the Democratic Party said it will be counting through the night.

As of 10 p.m., 14,407 of the 26,000 votes have been counted. The only localities left to count are Richmond and Surry County. A winner likely won’t be announced until Thursday morning.