June 8 Primary Election Guide: Virginians head to the polls

Virginia

Polls are open Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY/WRIC) – Tuesday, June 8 is Primary Election Day in Virginia.

If you’re registered, you can vote in-person at your polling place Tuesday, or if you requested an absentee ballot, you can drop off the completed form at your polling place on Election Day.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Election Day across Virginia.

Click here for live election results after the polls close.

Since the state legislature approved no-excuse absentee voting, early turnout numbers in Virginia have grown. While early voting figures are not expected to ever reach the unprecedented heights of the 2020 presidential election, before there were COVID-19 vaccines, top election officials say the change has led to a noticeable difference.   

Early ballots can’t be tallied until primary day.

With Virginia not registering its voters by political party, any registered voter can take part in the June 8 primary, but must only select one ballot. Based on the ballot they choose, primary voters will select candidates for the top three statewide offices, House of Delegates and some local races.  

What will be on the Democratic primary ballot?

Ballots are going to vary depending on where you live, but Democratic primary ballots across Virginia will have candidates for three statewide races.

Governor

There are five Democratic candidates seeking the party’s nomination in the governor’s race: Del. Lee Carter (Manassas), state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (Richmond), Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, former Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy and former governor Terry McAuliffe. 

Lt. Governor

Six candidates** – Del. Sam Rasoul (Roanoke), Del. Hala Ayala (Prince William), Del. Mark Levine (Alexandria), Sean Perryman, Xavier Warren and Andria McClellan — are competing in the lieutenant governor’s race. Del. Elizabeth Guzman withdrew from the race in April, but is listed on the ballot. Notices are posted at polling places informing voters.

Attorney General

Attorney General Mark Herring is seeking a third term in office against challenger Del. Jay Jones (Norfolk) in the primary. 

House of Delegates

Democrats in the Virginia House of Delegates are facing more challengers than Republicans are in the primary, with 14 incumbents having to run in the primary. In total, voters in 19 House districts will select Democratic nominees for the general election. Several of the districts represent the Hampton Roads region.

Local Races

In certain localities, there will be primaries for local offices or constitutional officers.

In Norfolk, the city’s voters will pick a commonwealth’s attorneyThe candidates are Amina Matheny-Willard, Megan C. Zwisohn and Ramin Fatehi.

Hampton voters will select between Curtis C. Cooper, John A. Perkins and Karen E. Bowden for Sheriff. And Chris O. Snead and Tammy B. Ishmael are running for Hampton Treasurer.


According to the state’s Department of Elections, just over 41,000 voters have mailed in their ballot and nearly 40,000 have voted early in person for the June 8 Democratic primary. More than 500,000 voters cast a ballot in the 2017 primary, when Gov. Ralph Northam and Lt. Gov. Fairfax won the Democratic nomination. 

As of June 3, the total early voting turnout for Democratic races in the primary is 83,750.

What will be on the Republican primary ballot

The Virginia GOP opted for a party-run convention in early May to select its statewide candidates, leaving those races up to convention delegates and not primary voters.

Glenn Youngkin secured the Republican nomination for governor. Winsome Sears won the party’s lieutenant governor’s race and Del. Jason Miyares (Virginia Beach) is the GOP’s nominee for attorney general. 

There are seven House district races on the Republican primary ballot, with only three incumbents being challenged for the party’s nomination. 

Like the Democratic ballot, voters in those districts who select a Republican ballot will pick between those candidates. Local GOP races will also be on some ballots across Virginia. 

With the major Republican contests already settled, it remains unclear how many typical GOP voters will head to the polls on June 8. Only certain localities have GOP primary contests and Republican voters have shown less enthusiasm for early voting than Democrats and have the option to vote in the Democratic races in the primary. 

A little over 1,600 Republican primary absentee ballots, 738 in person and 869 through the mail, have been cast as of June 3, according to numbers from Virginia’s Department of Elections.  

What comes after the primary?

Once polls close on June 8 and the ballot-counting process is complete, the contests for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general will be set. 

On Nov. 2, the three statewide races, all 100 House of Delegates seats and local races will be on the ballot for the general election.

** Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) withdrew from the Virginia Lt. Gov. race. “After assessing the campaign finance reports that posted yesterday, I have made the difficult decision to suspend our historic campaign and put all our resources into defending the House of Delegates seat,” Guzman said in a statement on April 17.

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