Over 3,000 have already cast ballots in election

Over 3,000 have already cast ballots in election

As of Tuesday, over 3,000 Pulaski County citizens had already voted in this year’s election. That number was sure to grow by Saturday at 5 p.m. when early in-person voting ends.

According to Kathy Webb, Director of Elections and Voter Registrar, as of Tuesday morning 1,924 people had voted early in person with another 1,158 having voted early by mail.

For reference, that early voting number is small when compared to the 2020 Presidential race when 6,553 countians voted early in person and another 2,436 did so by mail.

Most of Pulaski County’s 23,346 registered voters will wait until Tuesday to cast their ballots between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. in one of the county’s 12 precinct polling places.

When they go to the polls, voters here will help decide three statewide races, two House of Delegates races and one race in the Town of Dublin.

Heading the statewide races is the contest for governor between Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat who served previously from 2014-2018 and Republican Glenn Youngkin. For Youngkin, the former head of the private-equity firm The Carlyle Group, this is his first foray into politics. He stepped down from that position in September of 2020 to run for governor.

Recent polling shows the governor’s race in a dead heat, with Youngkin having the momentum and closing the gap between the two, according to recent polling.

A third candidate for governor is Princess L. Blanding, an educator and community activist running as a member of the Liberation Party.

In the race for lieutenant governor, Democrat Hala Ayala represents the 51st House District in Richmond. She is opposed by Republican Winsome Sears, a Marine Corps veteran who represented the 90th House District from 2000–2004.

Democrat Mark Herring is seeking a third term as Attorney General, having first taken office in 2014 and being re-elected in 2018.

Opposing Herring is Republican Jason Miyares who currently represents the 82nd House District in Richmond.

County voters will vote in one of two House of Delegates races.

If you live in Belspring or New River precincts, you will vote in the 12th District House race between incumbent Democrat Chris Hurst and his Republican challenger, Jason Ballard, a lawyer in Pearisburg who also serves on Pearisburg Town Council.

Voters in the county’s other 10 precincts will cast their ballots in the 7th House District contest and will choose between Democrat Derek Kitts and Republican Marie March.

Kitts is an Army veteran who owns a printing operation in Pulaski County. March owns eight businesses in Christiansburg and Roanoke, including Due South BBQ and Fatback Soul Shack.

The 7th District House seat became up for grabs after longtime Delegate Nick Rush announced he would not seek re-election for another term.

In the lone local government race, Wayne Seagle is again seeking a seat on Dublin Town Council and is this time running unopposed. He is seeking to fill the unexpired term of >>>>>>>>>>>>>> whose term expires Dec. 31, 2024.

In-person early voting ends Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Registrar’s office at 87 Commerce Street in Pulaski.

An absentee drop box is located at the Registrar’s office and drop boxes will be available at all polling places on Election Day.

Polling places remain the same for this election:

Belspring: Belspring UMC

New River: Riverlawn Elem.

West Cloyd: NRV Fairgrounds

Draper: Draper Fire Dept.

South Pulaski: Central Gym

Newbern: Dublin Lions Club

Dublin: Dublin Lions Club

Hiwassee: Hiwassee Fire Dept.

Snowville: Snowville Fire Dept.

Massie: Central Gym

Walker: NRV Fairgrounds

Robinson: Central Gym

Voters are encouraged to wear masks to the polls and social distancing will be practiced.

All voters are required to have an ID when voting.

By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot