By Randy Arrington
Super Tuesday may be less than “super” in Page County, with less than 1,000 votes potentially being cast between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. among more than 15,800 registered voters.
However, local election officials have printed about 5,000 ballots to cover about one-third of the eligible electorate.
“The state wants us to prepare with overage ballots,” Page County registrar Carol Gaunt said on Monday. “We usually get 5 to 7 percent” turnout at a presidential primary.
In Page County, that’s only about 700 to 1,100 ballots cast.
The big change in Page County for the March 3 presidential primary will be the site of the polls in Districts 1 and 4.
In the northern end of the county, District 1 voters will cast their ballots at Page United Methodist Church on Springfield Road, just off Route 340 about three miles north of Luray.
In District 4, voters will join District 3 voters at the Stanley Fire Hall along Stanley’s Main Street (Route 340 Business).
The remaining three district polling locations will stay the same as the last general election:
- District 2 — Luray VFW, just off Route 211 east of Luray;
- District 3 — Stanley Fire Hall;
- District 5 — Shenandoah VFW, just north of town.
During the March 3 presidential primary, voters of any party may cast ballots for the Democratic nominee among a field of 14 candidates:
- Michael Bennett, U.S. Senator from Colorado;
- Joe Biden, former U.S. Senator and Vice President;
- Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York;
- Corey Booker, U.S. Senator from New Jersey;
- Pete Buttigieg, former South Bend, Ind. mayor (recently withdrew from the race);
- Julian Castro, former San Antonio mayor and Obama administration housing secretary;
- Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Representative from Hawaii;
- Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator from Minnesota;
- Deval Patrick, former governor of Massachusetts;
- Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator from Vermont;
- Tom Steyer, billionarie activist;
- Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator from Massachusettes;
- Marianne Williamson, author;
- Andrew Yang, former tech executive.
In order to get their name on the Super Tuesday Virginia ballots, candidates had to gather 5,000 signatures from registered voters, including 200 or more from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts.
Page County will be using three to five election officers at each of the four polling sites on Tuesday, as opposed to the eight to 10 volunteers they will need at all five polling locations in November.
“We would welcome new recruits,” Gaunt said.
The poll workers (or “officers of election”) work from 5 a.m. until all results are final. That means a really long day for the $135 in compensation. But Gaunt says many work the polls as a sense of service to their community.
“We have some who’ve been doing it for 40 years,” the Page County registrar said. “We welcome people to apply.”
Those interested in helping out with November’s general election may visit the registrar’s office in the county government center on South Court Street in Luray, or go online to www.elections.virginia.gov and search “poll worker interest.”
The position requires those selected to take an oath and undergo training prior to Election Day.
With printing ballots, setting up voting machines, publishing advertisements, and paying poll workers — costs for the March 3 primary could reach $10 per vote. By comparison, the estimated cost-per-vote for this fall’s general election will be closer to $3 per vote.
Virginia stands as one of 14 states that will be casting ballots on “Super Tuesday” in the Democratic presidential primary. Those states include:
- North Carolina
Absentee voting for the March 3 presidential primary in Page County closed Feb. 28.
Voters on Tuesday are reminded to take a photo ID that is issued by a government agency, an employer or an institution of higher learning in Virginia.