Virginia voter guide: The 2021 primaries

The 2021 election season in Virginia has begun, with in-person primary voting underway.

They are mostly Democratic primaries this year; most of the Republican races will be decided in a series of remote conventions May 8, although there will be a few GOP races on the ballot.

Most of the changes to voting in Virginia adopted last year due to the pandemic are still in place, but there are a few differences. Here’s what you need to know.

In-person voting

Voting started April 23; the final day of voting, primary day, is June 8. Polls that day will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you are in line at 7 p.m., you will get to vote. If you are voting in-person before June 8, the hours vary. Check below for your county, city or town.

Assuming you are registered, you can vote in person without an appointment or asking for a ballot in advance. If you want to mail in a ballot, or drop it in a drop box, you won’t have to wait in any lines, but you will have to ask for a ballot first. You can do that online, and you have until May 28.

Registering to vote

You can do that online too. The deadline is May 17.

Where to vote in person

If you’re voting in person on June 8, you can find your polling place on the state site. If you are voting early, look below for your city, town or county.

You need an identification to vote in person. You can find out which ones will work for you on the Virginia Department of Elections site.

Drop boxes

A lot of people left their mail-in or absentee ballots (in Virginia, they’re the same thing) at drop boxes during the last election. Those are mostly still in place; check below for the procedures in the city, town or county you live in.

Who’s on the ballot?

Every Virginia voter will find the statewide races on their ballot; many will find local races too.

Statewide offices

The Democratic Party will pick its candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in the primary; the Republicans picked their candidates for these offices through a convention held in multiple locations across the commonwealth May 8.

Governor

Five Democrats are vying for the nomination to succeed Gov. Ralph Northam, who is limited to one term:

Lieutenant Governor

Seven Democrats are running to succeed Justin Fairfax:

Attorney General

Del. Jerrauld C. ‘Jay’ Jones takes on incumbent Mark R. Herring.

Local races

Both parties are running primaries for local offices, although in some cases Republicans are using other methods.

Alexandria

In Alexandria, you can vote in person at the Office of Voter Registration and Elections, at 132 N. Royal St. starting Friday. It is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In Alexandria, there’s a 24-hour drop box in front of the Office of Voter Registration and Elections, at 132 N. Royal St. There will be drop boxes at all polling places on Election Day, June 8, as well.

All the candidates in the primary are Democrats. In addition to the statewide races:

Mayor

This race features a rematch, as incumbent Justin M. Wilson is being challenged by former Mayor Allison Silberberg, whom he displaced in the primary in 2018.

City Council

Thirteen candidates are running, and each voter can vote for up to six. The top six vote-getters will move on to the November general election; the top vote-getter there will become vice mayor.

  • Canek Aguirre (incumbent)
  • Sarah R. Bagley
  • William E. ‘Bill’ Campbell
  • John Taylor Chapman (incumbent)
  • Alyia Smith-Parker Gaskins
  • Kevin J. Harris
  • Amy B. Jackson (incumbent)
  • James C. Lewis Jr.
  • Kirk McPike
  • Patrick B. Moran
  • William C. ‘Bill’ Rossello
  • Mark Leo Shiffer
  • Meronne E. Tekly

House of Delegates 45th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Mark H. Levine (incumbent)
  • Elizabeth B. Bennett-Parker

(Levine is running for Lieutenant Governor, but said he plans to run for reelection in his current role if he is not elected.)

Arlington County

Mostly, you can cast an absentee ballot in person at the Board of Elections, in Courthouse Plaza at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. It is open Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., until June 4. It will be open on a pair of Saturdays as well: May 29 and June 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Absentee ballot may be cast in-person at the Madison Community Center, at 3829 North Stafford St., and at the Walter Reed Community Center, at 2909 16th St. South.

Both locations are open May 29 and June 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as June 1 and June 3, from 2 to 7 p.m. (That’s “and,” not “through,” so you’ll be out of luck if you show up Wednesday, June 2.)

There are a number of 24/7 drop boxes in Arlington too. They are all open Monday, April 26, through June 8:

  • Courthouse Plaza at 2100 Clarendon Blvd.
  • Aurora Hills Community Center, at 735 18th St. South.
  • Arlington Mill Community Center, 909 S. Dinwiddie St.
  • Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St.
  • Langston-Brown Community Center, 2121 N. Culpeper St.
  • Madison Community Center, 3829 N. Stafford St.
  • Shirlington Library, 4200 Campbell Ave.
  • Walter Reed Community Center, 2909 16th St. S.
  • Westover Library, 1644 N. McKinley St.

In addition to the statewide races:

County Board

  • Takis P. Karantonis (incumbent)
  • Chanda Choun

House of Delegates 49th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Alfonso H. Lopez (incumbent)
  • Karishma N. Mehta

House of Delegates 45th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Mark H. Levine (incumbent)
  • Elizabeth B. Bennett-Parker

Fairfax City

The city has no local races this year; residents will only cast ballots for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

You can find your polling place on the city website.

You can vote in person, or use a drop box for a mail-in ballot, starting Friday at City Hall, 10455 Armstrong St. It will be open for voting Mondays through Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and two Saturdays — May 29 and June 5 — 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fairfax County

In-person voting begins Friday at Fairfax County Government Center, at 12000 Government Center Parkway. It will be open Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, May 29, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It is closed Memorial Day, May 31, but then starting June 1, it is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 5 (the last day for early in-person voting).

You can vote in person at the North County Governmental Center, at 1801 Cameron Glen Drive, and the Mount Vernon Governmental Center, at 2511 Parkers Lane. The hours are the same.

From May 29 through June 5, there are a host of places you can vote in person:

Hours at all these locations are 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 29 and June 5.

Every spot for early voting will have a drop box during the hours they are open too; there will be a 24/7 one outside the Fairfax County Government Center starting sometime next week, the board of elections said.

In addition to the statewide races:

House of Delegates 34th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Jennifer M. Adeli
  • Kathleen J. Murphy (incumbent)

House of Delegates 36th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Mary K. ‘Red’ Barthelson
  • Kenneth R. ‘Ken’ Plum (incumbent)

House of Delegates 38th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Holly E. Hazard
  • L. Kaye Kory (incumbent)

House of Delegates 45th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Mark H. Levine (incumbent)
  • Elizabeth B. Bennett-Parker

House of Delegates 49th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Alfonso H. Lopez (incumbent)
  • Karishma N. Mehta

House of Delegates 86th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Irene Shin
  • Ibraheem S. Samirah (incumbent)

Falls Church

There are no local elections in Falls Church this year; residents will cast ballots for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

You can vote in person at the Office of Elections, in City Hall, at 300 Park Ave., on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Friday, June 4, except for Memorial Day May 28, and on Saturday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a 24-hour drop box outside City Hall, and each polling place will have one on June 8 while they are open.

You can find your polling location for June 8 on the city’s website as well as the state’s.

Fauquier County

You can cast ballots in person at the Registrar’s Office, at 528 Waterloo Rd. in Warrenton. It is open Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except Memorial Day, and Saturdays, May 29 and June 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There is a drop box in the office too; access is provided at the same hours.

In addition to the statewide races:

House of Delegates District 31

(Democratic primary)

  • Idris A. Jibowu-O’Connor
  • Kara A. Pitek
  • R.D. ‘Rod’ Hall
  • Elizabeth R. Guzman (incumbent)

Loudoun County

You can vote in person at the Office of Elections, 750 Miller Drive SE, Leesburg, starting Friday. The hours are Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Memorial Day). Additional hours include Saturday, May 29, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, June 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, June 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Other locations:

The Loudoun County Government Office at Ridgetop (21641 Ridgetop Circle in Sterling) and the Dulles South Senior Center, at 24950 Riding Center Drive, in South Riding, are both open:

  • Saturday, May 29, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 1, noon to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 3, noon to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

And the Carver Senior Center, at 200 E. Willie Palmer Way, in Purcellville, is open Saturdays, May 29 and June 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to the statewide races:

House of Delegates 34th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Jennifer M. Adeli
  • Kathleen J. Murphy (incumbent)

House of Delegates 86th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Irene Shin
  • Ibraheem S. Samirah (incumbent)

Manassas City

You can vote in person at 9025 Center St., next door to City Hall. It is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturdays, May 29 and June 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (you will be asked to call to confirm).

In addition to the statewide races:

House of Delegates 50th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Helen Anne Zurita
  • Michelle E. Lopes-Maldonado
  • Lee J. Carter (incumbent)

Manassas Park

There are no local primaries this year; voters will cast ballots for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

You can vote in person starting Friday at City Hall, at 1 Park Center Court. It is open Mondays through Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturdays, May 29 and June 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; there will be a drop box inside.

Prince William County

There are three places to vote in person in the county starting Friday: the Dr. A. J. Ferlazzo Building, 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Woodbridge; the Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Ave., Manassas, and the Haymarket Gainesville Community Library, 14870 Lightner Rd., Haymarket.

The hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and starting on May 29, it will be open Saturdays too (the same hours). Drop boxes inside will be accessible during those hours, but there will be no 24/7 boxes.

(The Board of Elections wants to make sure you know that the Ferlazzo Building is a new location; it replaces the Woodbridge DMV.)

In addition to the statewide races:

House of Delegates 51st District

(Republican primary; no incumbent)

  • Jeffery A. Dove Jr.
  • Tim D. Cox

House of Delegates 2nd District

(Democratic primary)

  • Pam G. Montgomery
  • Candi P.M. King (incumbent)

House of Delegates 31st District

(Democratic primary)

  • Idris A. Jibowu-O’Connor
  • Kara A. Pitek
  • R.D. ‘Rod’ Hall
  • Elizabeth R. Guzman (incumbent)

House of Delegates 50th District

(Democratic primary)

  • Helen Anne Zurita
  • Michelle E. Lopes-Maldonado
  • Lee J. Carter (incumbent)

Stafford County

You can vote in person starting Friday at Stafford County Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Rd., Stafford. It is open Mondays through Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturdays, May 29 and June 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A drop box is available there during those hours too.

In addition to the statewide races:

House of Delegates District 2

(Democratic primary; not all county voters are in this district)

  • Candi King (Incumbent)
  • Rozia Henson
  • Pamela Montgomery

Board of Supervisors, Acquia District

(Republican primary)

  • Cindy Shelton (incumbent)
  • Paul Milde

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

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