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Candidate alleges Democratic Primary for congressional seat is case of 'voter suppression'

Posted at 4:53 PM, Dec 19, 2022

RICHMOND, Va. -- One of the four candidates running in the Democratic primary Tuesday to fill the late Donald McEachin's congressional seat plans to join a lawsuit to try to overturn the results.

Tavorise Marks is a civil rights advocate running against State Senator Jennifer McClellan, State Senator Joe Morrissey and Former Delegate Joseph Preston.

Marks said he is adding his name to the lawsuit because he does not believe voters have enough access to voting on Tuesday. In fact, he said the structure of the firehouse primary is a case of voter suppression.

There are currently only eight voting precincts where Democratic voters can cast a ballot Tuesday. Marks said that typically in an election for this Congressional seat, there are over 200 precincts open.

He said the primary structure is disenfranchising many voters in less populous parts of the district where people might have to drive an hour to find a polling place.

Joe Morrissey has also complained about the small number of voting locations.

The lawsuit, filed by Richmond Attorney Paul Goldman three days ago, claims the firehouse primary orchestrated by Virginia's Democratic Party is unconstitutional because it does not provide voters throughout the district easy access to the polls.

CBS6 Political Analyst Doctor Bob Holsworth said the complaints that there are not enough polling places are "right on target," but said the parties were only given 10 days to choose a nominee, which "isn't much time."

Holsworth also said, "typically, political parties can do what they want."

Votes can be cast at the following locations on Tuesday. Click here for more information.

  • Brunswick Conference Center – 100 Athletic Field Rd, Lawrenceville, Virginia 23868
  • Dogtown Dance Studio – 109 W 15th St, Richmond, VA 23224
  • Diversity Richmond – 1407 Sherwood Ave, Richmond, VA 23220
  • IBEW Local 666 – 1390 E Nine Mile Rd, Highland Springs VA 23075
  • Tabernacle Baptist Church – 444 Halifax St, Petersburg, VA 23803
  • Meadowdale Library – 4301 Meadowdale Blvd, North Chesterfield, VA 23234
  • Surry Parks & Recreation Center – 205 Enos Farm Drive, Surry, VA 23883
  • Charles City Government Center – 10900 Courthouse Road, Charles City, VA 23030
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