Virginia voter guide: The 2021 primaries

Editor’s note: The polls have closed in Virginia. You can check the results:


Primary voters pick Democratic candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, AG
Primary voters pick Democratic House of Delegates candidates
Primary results: Live updates from The Associated Press
Photos from Primary Day 2021 in Virginia


The 2021 election season in Virginia has begun.

The 2021 Virginia primary election, which will determine the candidates who will face off in the fall, will be held Tuesday. Voters are weighing in on the contest for the Democratic nomination for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general among other races. Most of the Republican races were already 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

Early in-person voting started April 23 and ended Saturday, June 5. You can still vote in-person on Tuesday, June 8, which is primary day in Virginia.

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.

Voters heading to the polls on Tuesday are strongly encouraged to wear a mask, although it is not required.

Early voting was already outpacing 2017 numbers as of late May. And elections officials are also expecting the return of pre-pandemic crowds at the polls on June 8, since the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines and changes to the mask mandate are returning things to a semblance of normal.

It’s too late to register to vote in Virginia; the deadline was 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.

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

Mail-in ballots and 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 were mostly still in place during the early voting period, but except for a few 24/7 locations, they’re closed now. Check below for the procedures in the city, town or county you live in.

If you still have a ballot that was mailed to you, you can drop it off on Tuesday through 7 p.m., when the polls close, at a drop box, your general registrar’s office or your polling location.

You can also mail in your ballot, but elections officials say that’s the riskiest option. Your mailed ballot needs to be postmarked by Tuesday and received no later than noon on Friday.

If you haven’t already requested an absentee ballot, it’s too late; the deadline was May 28.


More Virginia Primary News


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, 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 also running for lieutenant governor.)

Arlington County

The early in-person voting places have closed, but the 24/7 drop boxes in Arlington are still open 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.

Fairfax County

There’s a 24/7 drop box outside the Fairfax County Government Center.

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.

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

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

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

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.

Prince William County

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

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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