RICHMOND, Va. -- The City of Richmond registrar updated its 2020 Election results Wednesday to include early and mail-in votes by each of the city's nine districts. With that information, it appears Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has been re-elected mayor of Richmond.
Stoney led by a wide margin in five of the city's nine districts. A candidate must win five districts to be declared the winner.
"I've been working on this campaign now since the beginning of the year. And the areas that we thought we could be successful and we believe we were successful. That's parts of Southside, East End, and Northside," Stoney said at his weekly press conference regarding the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "
The clearer picture Wednesday night followed hours of confusion regarding how the city reported results.
"Obviously, there needs to be some improvements," candidate Alexsis Rodgers, who won two districts, said.
That is because results were slowly reported due to, in part, massive early voting in Richmond, the head of the Richmond Board of Elections James Nachman said.
But, the new early voting system doesn’t tell the whole story.
"At the local level there's definitely some processes that need to be improved," Rodgers said.
On Election Night in Richmond, results from folks who voted in person on Election Day did not start coming in until about 10:30 p.m.
If you looked at the state Board of Elections website, you would have thought nearly every precinct had been reported when only a few actually had.
Moreover, the state did not down the results by district, which is how the mayoral race is decided.
"That was an issue, so we were trying to get those numbers broken down by council district and get them on the city website," Nachman said.
That’s because the city sent over precinct results that showed zeros in precincts that hadn’t actually reported results.
Nachman even said some precincts never reported results to the Richmond registrar.
"We were trying to track down those people they weren't answering their phones," Nachman said. "It happens every election, you have anomalies dealing with human errors. People make mistakes."
Nachman admitted there needed to be a better process of sharing votes with the state and reporting them faster.
"I do think it could be better, and we're going to be having those discussions," Nachman said.
There are some provisional ballots, mail-in ballots, and ballots placed in boxes on election day that remain to be counted.
However, it was unlikely those ballots would change the election results.
"I'm going to double down on unity, not on division," Stoney said about this second term. "My door will remain open to all of those who are elected to the city council for us to continue to move a progressive positive agenda forward for the residents of the great city of Richmond."