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Due to redistricting earlier this year, most Historic Triangle residents will vote for a candidate to represent Virginia’s 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives during next month’s primary election.
Electoral district boundaries are redrawn every 10 years based on U.S. Census data. The most recent change in district boundaries occurred in 2011. But after it was determined that the lines for the 3rd Congressional District had been gerrymandered, or drawn to benefit a particular group of people, the boundaries were redrawn in January, said Dianna Moorman, James City County’s general registrar.
Changes to the 3rd District boundary lines had a “domino effect,” Moorman said, resulting in changes to the 1st and 2nd districts.
Until the lines were redrawn, most of the Historic Triangle was located in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District, which is represented by Rob Wittman (R-Montross). But the redistricting now brings the entirety of the City of Williamsburg and York County into the 2nd District, as well as some James City County residents.
In the June 14 primary, only the Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat in the November general election will be determined. Democrats will choose their candidate at an upcoming state party convention. Moorman explained that political parties decide whether their general election candidates will be chosen via a primary or at a convention.
The candidates currently registered for the Republican primary are Pat Cardwell, Randy Forbes and Scott Taylor, all Virginia Beach residents. The seat currently is held by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Virginia Beach), who announced in January he will not seek re-election.
To accommodate the redistricting changes, James City County divided its Berkeley A district into thirds. A third of the residents will remain in Berkeley A and vote in the 1st Congressional District, while the rest will vote in the 2nd Congressional District as members of the new Berkeley D district.
“We truly did try to keep the neighborhood feeling alive and try to not displace anyone from what they had previously,” Moorman said. “We are very much voter advocates here.”
To ensure residents know if they are voting in the 2nd Congressional District race, the JCC Registrar’s Office sent mailings and placed advertisements in area newspapers.
In addition to Berkeley D residents, voters in two Jamestown and all four Roberts districts will vote in the 2nd Congressional District race. Only 10 voters from the Jamestown B district will vote in the 2nd Congressional District, while all but 22 voters in the Roberts D district will vote in the contest, Moorman said.
Chart courtesy of James City County
Also in the June 14 primary, a Democratic candidate will be chosen to run for the District 1 State Senate seat formerly held by Democrat John Miller of Newport News. Miller died last month of an apparent heart attack. Republicans will choose their candidate for the District 1 seat via convention.
The June 14 election is an “open” primary, which means voters can cast their ballots in either the Republican or Democratic contests regardless of their own partisan affiliation. At the polls, election judges will ask voters if they want a ballot for the Republican or the Democratic primary. Moorman said this question will be asked purely to determine which ballot a voter will receive.
“It’s for no other reason than for us to know which ballot to physically hand you,” Moorman said. “I think people would get equally offended if we handed them a Republican ballot and they’re a staunch, self-proclaimed Democrat.”
How to Vote
Voters have until May 23 to register to vote or to update their registration information. Absentee ballots must be requested by June 7.
Registration can be completed online via the state’s citizen portal or the information can be mailed to a voter’s local registrar’s office.
Residents can pick up voter registration applications in person at the following locations:
James City County
- Registrar’s Office, 101-E Mounts Bay Road (Phone: 757- 253-6868)
- Human Services Center, 5249 Olde Towne Road
- Satellite Services Office, 3127 Forge Road
- Registrar’s Office, 224 Ballard St. (Phone: 757- 890-3440)
- Griffin-Yeates Center, 1490 Government Road
City of Williamsburg
- Registrar’s Office, 401 Lafayette St. (Phone: 757-220-6157)
- College of William & Mary, Office of Residence Life, Campus Center
Voter registration applications can can be obtained at local libraries, state Department of Motor Vehicles offices and U.S. Post Offices.