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Primary day 2019: Who’s on the Virginia ballot, and how to vote

Candidate volunteers are up and at it early. Elena Lowe says she’s out to support a really great candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney at Reston, Virginia, precinct 223. (WTOP/Kristi King)

Primary elections are underway in Virginia, and throughout the commonwealth, voters are deciding who will appear on the ballot this fall. Voter turnout has been low so far, but those who made it out have a wide range of candidates to choose from in certain races.

Voters are heading to the polls to determine party nominees for General Assembly seats as well as local offices, including an unprecedented battle for the top spot in Fairfax County.

The polls opened at 6 a.m. — and so long as you’re in line by closing time at 7 p.m., you can vote.



By law, voters will need to provide a photo ID. If you can’t provide one immediately, you can still cast a provisional ballot that will count if an ID is provided in the following days.

Any of the following are accepted. You are only required to show one form of ID.

  • A Virginia driver’s license
  • A Virginia DMV-issued photo ID
  • A United States passport
  • An employer-issued photo ID
  • A student photo ID issued by a school, college or university in Virginia
  • Another U.S. or Virginia government-issued photo ID
  • U.S. military photo ID
  • A tribal enrollment or other tribal photo ID
  • A Virginia Voter Photo ID card

Photo IDs can be used to vote up to one year after the ID has expired.

If you need to know where you vote, the Virginia Department of Elections has the links.

Who’s on the ballot? Find out from the Department of Elections.

If you have any other questions, you can ask your local voter registration office. The Virginia Department of Elections page has the links to get in touch with yours.

Not everyone has a primary to vote in — some races only have one candidate from a particular party, and some pick their candidates in other ways, such as caucuses.

Virginia doesn’t register voters by party, so if more than one party is holding a primary in your area, you can vote in either one, but not both.

Fairfax County

The big race is for chair of the Board of Supervisors, which will see its first Democratic primary in decades.

Four candidates — Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, at-large school board member Ryan McElveen, Georgetown Law professor Alicia Plerhoples and developer Tim Chapman — are running to represent the county’s 1.1 million residents. Each would see himself or herself as the favorite in November against Republican Joe Galdo.

That’s not all, though — five seats will change hands in November, thanks to retirements and McKay’s desire to move up.

In the Braddock District, the Democratic primary pits James Walkinshaw, the former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, against data analyst and activist Irma Corado.

In the Hunter Mill District, the crowded field features environmental expert Walter Alcorn, lawyer Laurie Dodd, Air Force veteran Shyamali Hauth, Comstock Companies executive Maggie Parker and Parker Messick.

In the Providence District, the Democratic primary includes school board member Dalia Palchik, Planning Commissioner Phil Niedzielski-Eichner, former Vienna Town Councilor Edythe Kelleher, court officer Erika Yalowitz and technology consultant Linh Hoang.

In the Lee District, lawyer and Melwood chief of staff Larysa Kautz, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority National Marketing Director Rodney Lusk, Planning Commissioner James Migliaccio and lawyer Kelly Hebron are the Democratic candidates.

Links to Fairfax County sample ballots for all the different districts are on the Fairfax County website.

Fairfax County voter Tim Duggan told WTOP that pace of development in the county — among other issues — was on his mind during this primary.

“All politics is local, so start local,” Duggan said. “Quality of life, the future for our kids.”

Other area races

Prince William County is holding four primaries for supervisors, while Loudoun County has one. You can find the Prince William sample ballot on their site, and the Loudoun County one on theirs.

Primaries are also being held for commonwealth’s attorney in Fairfax County and Fairfax City, where Steve Descano is challenging incumbent Ray Morrogh, as well as in Arlington County and Falls Church, where Parisa Dehghani-Tafti is challenging incumbent Theo Stamos.

WTOP’s Max Smith and Kristi King contributed to this report.

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