Friday, April 19, 2024

If you haven’t voted yet, keep in mind there’s a lot at stake in these midterm elections

Hampton Roads voters lined up early Tuesday to cast their ballots in this year’s midterm elections.

In Virginia Beach, voters started to trickle to polling places as early as 6 a.m. Polls are open until 7 p.m., but voters who are in line by 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast their ballots.

Polling places at the Peninsula also are reporting “good’ turnout.

Virginians are voting in races that could help determine political control of Congress.

Voters will make their picks Tuesday after months of bare-knuckled campaigning as Republicans try and hold onto U.S. House seats in closely watched races. Democrats have focused on flipping four GOP-held seats, but have run aggressive campaigns in all seven districts currently held by Republicans, even in deep-red areas.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine is looking to win re-election against Republican challenger Corey Stewart. Kaine is a former governor and vice presidential candidate who is heavily favored to win. Stewart is a conservative provocateur who has received little help from national Republicans or the White House.

One closely watched race is in the 2nd Congressional District between former Navy SEAL and freshman GOP U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor and challenger Elaine Luria, a Democrat who spent 20 years on active duty in the Navy.

The 2nd district includes Accomack and Northampton counties, portions of York County, and the cities of Virginia Beach and Williamsburg and parts of the cities of Norfolk and Hampton.

In the local scene, there are two dozen candidates running for mayor or City Council in Virginia Beach. Eight of the eleven council seats are up for grabs, with two new members of City Council guaranteed to emerge from at least two districts — Centerville and one at-large seat.

Six seats on the School Board are up for general election on Nov. 6.

The Virginia Beach City Public Schools district served 69,777 students for the 2015-2016 school year.

In York County, the treasurer’s seat is up for grabs — the election was prompted by the retirement of former treasurer Deborah Robinson in July.

A majority of voters casting midterm election ballots in Virginia said the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate.

As voters cast ballots for U.S. Senate and members of Congress in Tuesday’s elections, AP VoteCast found that 37 percent of Virginia voters said the country is on the right track, compared with 62 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction.

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