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How did Pulaski County vote in Tuesday’s election?

By WILLIAM PAINE

william.paine@southwesttimes.com

Off year elections, where the presidency is not at issue, generally results a lighter turnout, but voters who came to the polls Tuesday saw a heavier than usual midterm turnout.

According to Katherine Webb, Pulaski County’s Director of Elections, there are a total of 22,084 registered voters in Pulaski County and an unofficial total of 12,132 Pulaski County citizens cast their votes in Tuesday’s election. So a little more than half of Pulaski County’s registered voters deemed Tuesday’s elections worth their time.

Two-thirds or more than 8,000 of those Pulaski County voters cast ballots to re-elect Congressman Morgan Griffith to another term in office. Newbern and Dublin voting places saw the most voters with close to 900 citizens casting their ballots at both of these polls. Less than 200 voters in the South Pulaski precinct cast their ballots in Tuesday’s contest.

Griffith won the 9th District, which covers the entire western section of Virginia, by carrying counties within the district with percentages similar to those tallied in Pulaski County. Montgomery County was the exception to this rule as the Democrat carried the home of Virginia Tech.

Congressman Griffith won the 9th with just under two-thirds of the entire vote. Nowhere in Pulaski County did Griffith’s opponent Flaccavento get more than 40 percent of the vote, except at the New River polling place, where nearly 45 percent of the citizenry gave the Democratic candidate their vote.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine won re-election handily in Virginia with 56 percent of the vote statewide. This would not have occurred if the state voted as Pulaski County did, where 65 percent or nearly 8,000 voters filled in the blank for Republican senatorial candidate Corey Stewart.

Those who didn’t visit the polls for last November’s election will have noticed something different when casting their vote. Computer voting systems which have been used by Pulaski County since 2003 have been replaced with fill in the blank paper ballots.

Virginia’s General Assembly passed a law that required all computer based voting machines be replaced by last November’s election, presumably because of voter fraud and hacking concerns.

Today, and for the foreseeable future, voters fill in bubbles next to their candidates’ name with a pencil and then they are placed into a scanning machine where the votes are then officially recorded.

The Pulaski County Registrar’s office is still in the process of canvassing the complete vote for Tuesday’s election but little or no change is expected as a result of the canvas.

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