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ArlingtonElection officials hoping for a straightforward primary day

Election officials hoping for a straightforward primary day

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Arlington election officials are hoping for an easy-peasy primary election on June 21.

“Results should come in quickly . . . the only thing that will slow down results will be my ability to type them into the system,” county registrar Gretchen Reinemeyer said at a June 3 meeting of the Arlington Electoral Board.

Through the first few days of June, the Democratic primary between U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th) and challenger Victoria Virasingh had been attracting about 30 in-person early voters a day.

“Slow and steady,” Reinemeyer said, although “we are starting to see it pick up.”

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The Beyer-Virasingh race is the only one on the ballot in Arlington, the first time in decades there has been a single-election state primary in the county, Electoral Board secretary Scott McGeary. Because Virginia does not segregate voters by party affiliation, any registered voter can take part.

The 8th District includes all of Arlington and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church, plus portions of Fairfax County. Beyer has held the seat since winning a race to succeed Jim Moran in 2014.

Despite only having the single race on the ballot, and little expectation it will be competitive, local election officials have pulled out all the stops. Arlington’s 54 precincts will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. as required under state law.

“The job of elections never stops in Arlington,” Electoral Board chairman Kim Phillip said.

Election officials received some good news not long before the meeting, as Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) signed off on three precinct changes needed for the coming primary.

Such approval is required when changes have to be made relatively close in to election.

Receiving a response from the attorney general’s office took about a month, Reinemeyer said. That was “certainly faster than it used to be” when such changes were covered by the federal Voting Rights Act and required a decision by the U.S. attorney general, McGeary said.

Republicans on May 21 selected Karina Lipsman as their nominee in the 8th District, and independents have until June 21 to qualify for the ballot. Given the Democratic dominance in the 8th District, however, the general election is likely a foregone conclusion even if, as some Democrats fear, the party takes a shellacking nationally in November.

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