SALEM, Va. – Thousands of delegates across the commonwealth voted Saturday for the Republican candidates set to appear on the ballot this November.
Despite major changes at this year’s GOP Convention, the party assured that all votes will be counted.
Lining up by car or in-person, about 2,800 Republican delegates were expected at the Salem Civic Center to choose a nominee for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
After checking IDs and handing out ballots, voters said the process took just minutes.
“It was totally seamless and very quick,” Tina Guilliams said. “I don’t know what other way it could have been faster actually.”
Voters said splitting up the convention into 39 locations made voting easier.
“Yeah, I thought it was a lot better cause we’ve had to go a lot further away from home before,” Barbara Graham said. “So it was a lot easier.”
But counting will take longer. Ballot boxes will be sealed and driven to Richmond to be counted by hand on Sunday starting at 1 p.m. and showcased live stream.
It’s a historical moment the Clarks said they’re not going to miss.
“It’s a very significant election this is a big election,” Ed Clark said.
Political analyst Ed Lynch agrees and said the stakes are higher this year since Republicans have not won a statewide election in Virginia since 2009.
“They don’t have any good prospects of winning any U.S. Senate elections any time in the near future,” Lynch said. “If they are going to win a statewide election, this is the one.”
That’s why Roanoke City Republican Committee Chairman Charlie Nave said it’s important to get involved at the local level.
“We can get you involved in the work of the party to nurture the grassroots and grow the grassroots and build a bigger party,” he said.
The winner will be decided by rank choice vote and the results could take as long as Thursday.