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Why Chesterfield votes could have a big impact on election

Why Chesterfield votes could have a big impact on election
Posted at 4:42 PM, Nov 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 18:16:43-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield County voters are showing up at the polls on Election Day in greater numbers than those who voted in 2017, according to election officials.

As of 2 p.m. on Tuesday, 54,548 people have voted in Chesterfield. According to Virginia Public Access Project, 68,189 residents in the county voted early, which totals 122,737 votes.

In 2017, 118,669 people voted during the entirety of the election in the county suburbs south of Richmond.

Then-Democrat candidate Ralph Northam narrowly beat Republican Edward Gillespie by about 700 votes for the governorship. Northam was the first Democrat to carry the county since 1961.

This year, polls show Democrat and former Governor Terry McAuliffe in a tight race with Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin.

Many political pundits agree that Richmond’s suburbs may prove who wins Virginia’s governorship and control of the House next year.

CBS 6 Political Analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth said it will all come down to turnout.

“We are going to get a big indication of how this election is going to go with respect to how close the election is in Chesterfield,” Holsworth explained.

Holsworth predicted Youngkin will win in Chesterfield. But, if McAuliffe loses the county by just a few thousand votes, Holsworth believed the Democrat still has a good chance at winning the top seat.

“If, however, McAuliffe loses Chesterfield County by 13,000 or 15,000 thousand votes that could portend a more troubling night for McAuliffe and a much better night for Youngkin,” he stated.

Voters told CBS 6 on Tuesday that topics like education and taxes helped bring them out to the polls.

“I feel like the candidates really have been focusing on people in the counties versus the big cities,” said Chesterfield voter Mary Blankenship.

Blankenship considered herself an Independent voter who voted Republican down-ballot this year.

“My voice is going to be heard today,” she said. “My husband is sitting at home on the couch and he’s like, ‘I don’t know if I have time to go up there and vote.’ And I’m like, ‘Yes, you do.’ It’s important to have your voice heard no matter who you vote for.”

Hannah Qizilbash and her wife brought their two daughters to Spring Run Elementary to vote.

“I am a first-generation immigrant so I had to earn the right to vote and apply for citizenship to apply for the right to vote,” she stated. “As a same-sex couple, we just earned the right to be a couple and continuing to keep those values around for us and our family is extremely important.”

Precincts 103-Enon, 109-E. Scott, 306-Winterpock, 307-Cosby, 313-Woolridge, 317-Birkdale, 319-Magnolia, 414-Crenshaw, 504-Robius, 505-Bon Air, and 507-Salisbury all reported at least 1,000 votes by 2 p.m Tuesday.

Voting throughout Virginia started at 6 a.m.

A county spokesperson said they expect voter turnout to grow as people get off work. They reminded voters that they are guaranteed to vote if they're in line at their respective polling locations by 7 p.m.