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Voter turnout hits 20 percent in city, county at noon

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Election Day

Voter Will Barber talks to Jarrett Stone, Ricky Hutcherson, Mike Carter, and Jerome Wimmer outside of Katie's Store on Franklin Turnpike Tuesday morning, Nov. 5. 

Voters across Pittsylvania County and the City of Danville are heading to the polls today, Nov. 5 to cast their ballots for supervisors, members of the General Assembly, town elections, and referendums. 

Pittsylvania County Registrar Kelly Bailess and Danville Registrar Peggy Petty both reported a 20 percent voter turnout at noon for the city and the county.

"That number for us in the county is higher than expected," Bailess said. Bailess estimated last week to have a 30 percent voter turnout among county voters. 

Petty said the turnout has been lower than expected for the city. 

"With the parimutuel referendum, I originally expected a high turnout. That was six weeks ago. After the absentee voting totals began coming in last week, I lowered my prediction," Petty said.  

A projected 45 percent turnout is still expected for the City of Danville according to Petty. 

According to Bailess and Petty, voter projection is based off of the current absentee turnout compared to previous election data. 

Danville and Pittsylvania County voters will decide who represents them in the General Assembly Tuesday night. 

For voters in the 15th senatorial district, incumbent and republican candidate Frank Ruff is facing democratic candidate Virginia Smith.

Incumbent and republican candidate Bill Stanley is up against independent candidate Sherman Witcher, Sr. in the 20th senatorial district. 

In the race for the house of delegates, incumbent and republican candidate Danny Marshall is running against democratic candidate Eric Stamps in the 14th district. 

In the 16th district, incumbent and republican candidate Les Adams is facing libertarian candidate Dustin Evans. 

In Pittsylvania County, voters in the Tunstall District will decide a contested board of supervisor race between incumbent Tim Barber, Vic Ingram, and Hugh “Doc” Kelly. 

Westover District voters will decide the race between supervisor incumbent Ron Scearce and Jacqueline B. Menefee. 

Tim Dudley is running unopposed for the Staunton River District supervisor seat, and incumbent Bob Warren is running unopposed in the Chatham-Blairs District. 

Voters in the Chatham-Blairs District will also decide the race between incumbent Sam Burton on the Pittsylvania County School Board and Lyndsey Dotterer. 

Westover District School Board incumbent Todd Saunders is facing a challenge from Kevin Mills. 

Running unopposed is George Henderson in the Tunstall District, and Don Moon in the Staunton River district. 

County wide, voters will decide the next commissioner of revenue. 

Current deputy commissioner Robin Coles-Goard faces challenger Kristin Worsham. 

Running unopposed for constitutional offices are R. Bryan Haskins for commonwealth attorney,  Michael W. “Mike” Taylor for sheriff, and Vincent E. Shorter for treasurer. 

Voters in the Town of Chatham will have a special election for council on their ballot. 

Teresa Easley is running unopposed for the Chatham Town Council special election. 

Two special elections are being held for Hurt Town Council. 

Gary Hodnett is the lone candidate for the first special election in Hurt for a seat through Dec. 2020.

In a separate box, voters can choose two candidates on the ballot between three candidates for Hurt Town Council between Jeffery Bowling, Shirley Barksdale-Hill, and Lester T. Worley, Sr. 

The two candidates that win will fill council seats through Dec. 2022. 

In the City of Danville, voters will decide a contested race for the clerk of circuit court between incumbent Gerald Gibson, Melissa Tuck, and Charles Crumpler. 

A special election is also being held for the Danville School Board, for which Elizabeth Leggett is the lone candidate. 

Danville voters will also decide on bringing in pari-mutuel gambling machines. 

In 2019, the General Assembly of Virginia approved the introduction of pari-mutuel Historical Horse Racing machines.

The law mandates that localities that have not already approved pari-mutuel wagering hold a voter referendum before a pari-mutuel facility can locate in their community.

Approval by voters means a facility could locate in Danville where simulated horse races in state-approved, regulated gaming machines would allow players to bet on a chosen horse based on win statistics. 

The machines hold an archive of 90,000 previously ran horse races and race-related statistics. Players also could allow the gaming machine to choose the horse for them in the wager.

All voting precincts will be open until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

For more information, City of Danville residents can contact registrar Peggy Petty at 434-799-6560. Pittsylvania County residents can contact registrar Kelly Bailess at 434-432-7971, 

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