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2017 Virginia Election Guide: A look at your ballot

RICHMOND, Va. -- The race for the governor’s mansion in Virginia on Tuesday, Nov. 7,  likely marks the most consequential race of the year: Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie are squaring off in a battle that will provide an early look at how the first 10 months of the Trump presidency have reshaped American politics.

Northam, a pediatric neurologist, has served as the state’s lieutenant governor the past four years under Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Gillespie is a one-time chairman of the RNC and counselor to former President George W. Bush who nearly stole Mark Warner’s Senate seat in 2014 in a race few expected would be close.

Two sets of polling data released days before the election by Roanoke College and Rasmussen indicates that the two candidates are in a dead heat. Northam, who outraised Gillespie, has led in most polls since the June primary.

Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra polls at two percent support and six percent of voters remained undecided.

Voter participation is typically lower -- by at least 30% -- in a downballot year, but there has been a local increase in registered voters over the previous governor's race.

The Commonwealth of Virginia  has 5,489,530 registered voters. For the last gubernatorial race in 2013, there were 5,250,008 registered voters. Locally, all surrounding counties have seen an increase in registered voters from the 2013 race.

The race has set a record for absentee voting, according to the Washington Post. As of Friday night, more than 147,000 absentee votes had been cast than any other non presidential year in Virginia history.

All 100 Virginia House of Delegates are up for election and have brought a lot of new contenders to the field.  To grab control of the chamber, Democrats  need to gain 17 seats, while Republicans need to gain one seat to obtain a veto-proof super majority.

In the 2016 presidential election, Democrat Hillary Clinton defeated Republican Donald Trump in 51 out of 100 Virginia House districts—including 17 Republican-controlled districts. This likely explains why 48 incumbent Republican seats are being challenged this year.  A record number of women have entered the race as well, reports the Washington Post.

Based on analysis of these districts' electoral histories, there are several Virginia races with potential to be more competitive and that could possibly lead to shifts in a chamber's partisan balance. There are several pivot counties, which voted for Trump in 2016 after voting for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and several typically red counties that turned for Clinton.

[Scroll down to see the breakdown of all local races]

WHERE DO I VOTE AND WHAT IS ON MY BALLOT?

The polls open in Virginia at 6 a.m. on Election Day, Nov. 7 and stay open until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

There are election seats specific to each voters' district. Please click here to see your sample ballot. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Virginia’s Voter Photo ID Rules

Under Virginia law, voters are required to bring a photo ID to the polls. If you DO NOT have a photo ID, you can still vote, but you need to take some extra steps for your vote to count.

Here are examples of different photo ID you can bring to the polls.

2017 STATEWIDE RACES

GOVERNOR

 LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

ATTORNEY GENERAL

RACES TO WATCH LOCALLY

Republican voters in District 28 will decide who’ll have a chance to succeed retiring House Speaker Bill Howell.  The candidates are Democrat Joshua Cole and Republican Robert Thomas Jr. District 28 was one of 49 Virginia House districts that Trump won in 2016; he carried District 28 by 1.1 points.

The 72nd District, previously held by Jimmie Massie, has traditionally gone for the GOP, but Hillary Clinton won that district in the last Presidential election. The Democratic nominee Schuyler VanValkenburg has been endorsed by Senator Tim Kaine and outraised the favored Republican Eddie Whitlock.

The 73rd District has been held by incumbent John O'Bannon since 2001. He's challenged by Debra Rodman. O'Bannon raised $501,473
to Rodman's $324,511.  This district turned blue for Clinton in 2016, but races are consistently close here and third-party candidates do well.

Melissa Dart (Democrat) and John McGuire (Republican) are running for Peter Farrell’s seat in the 56th District. The 56th district includes Louisa County, as well as portions of Goochland, Henrico, Louisa, and Spotsylvania counties. Republican Peter Farrell has represented this district since 2012.

2017 LOCAL RACES

27th District
Chesterfield County
Larry V. Barnett (D)  challenges Incumbent Roxann L. Robinson (R)

28th District
Fredericksburg City, Stafford County
Democrat Joshua Cole and Republican Robert Thomas Jr. face off.

54th District
Caroline County, Spotsylvania County
Al Durante (D) challenges Incumbent Robert D. “Bobby” Orrock (R).
**This district intersects with one or more pivot counties, which voted for Trump in 2016 after voting for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

55th District
Hanover County, Caroline County, Spotsylvania County
Morgan Goodman (D) challenges Incumbent Buddy Fowler (R)

56th District
Goochland County, Henrico County, Louisa County, Spotsylvania County
Melissa Dart (D) and John McGuire (R)

62nd District
Chesterfield County, Hopewell City, Henrico County, Prince George County
Incumbent Riley Ingram (R) $226,700 faces Bynum-Coleman, Sheila (D)

63rd District
Chesterfield County, Dinwiddie County, Hopewell City, Petersburg City, Prince George County
Incumbent Lashrecse D. Aird (D) is uncontested

65th District
Chesterfield County, Powhatan County, Goochland County, Fluvanna County
Francis Ware (D) challenges Incumbent Lee Ware (R)

66th District
Chesterfield County, Colonial Heights
Incumbent Kirk Cox, (R) is challenged by Katie Sponsler,  (D)
Cox has outraised Sponsler $908,000 to $28,000.

68th District
Chesterfield County, Henrico County, Richmond City
Dawn M. Adams (D) challenges incumbent Manoli Loupassi (R)

69th District
Richmond City, Chesterfield County
Incumbent candidate Betsy Carr (D) is challenged by Jake Crocker (Libertarian) and Marcus Sutphin (Green)

70th District
Chesterfield County, Henrico County, Richmond City
Incumbent Delores L. McQuin (D) faces no challenger

72nd District
Henrico County
Edward S. Whitlock II (R) faces Schuyler VanValkenburg (D)

73rd District
Henrico County
Incumbent John O'Bannon  (R) is challenged by Debra Rodman
This race has raised a lot of cash, with O'Bannon getting $501,473 and Rodman  $324,511

74th District
Henrico County, Charles City, Richmond
Incumbent Lamont Bagby (D) is challenged by Preston Brown (I).

97th District
Hanover, King William, and all of New Kent County.
Cori Johns (D) takes on Incumbent Chris Peace (R).

99th District
Caroline County, King George County, Lancaster County, Northumberland County, Richmond County, Westmoreland County
Francis Nicholas Edwards (D) faces incumbent Margaret Ransone (R).
**This district intersects with one or more pivot counties, which voted for Trump in 2016 after voting for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

Chesterfield Commissioner of Revenue
Jenefer S. Hughes (D) challenges Incumbent Timothy M. McPeters (R)

Hopewell Sheriff
John Holloway (I), Travis Stanley (I), Steve Kephart (I)  and Kevin Johnson (I) are on the ballot.

Hopewell Treasurer
Joan Gosier (I), LaTonya Felton (I)

Henrico County Brookland District Member Board of Supervisor
This seat is open after 29 years, with the death of Richard Glover in February. Robert H. “Bob” Witte, Jr. (R) faces Courtney D. Lynch (D).

Louisa County Mineral District Member Board of Supervisor
Duane A. Adams (R) faces Independent Stephanie L. Koren

Louisa Board of Supervisors - Green Springs
Richard Havasy (I) and Robert Babyok (I)

Petersburg Treasurer
Kenneth M Pritchett (D) faces Independent Gloria Person Brown

Petersburg Sheriff
Independent Corey Brown challenges Democratic incumbent Vanessa Reese Crawford.

Richmond School Modernization Ballot Initiative
Not later than six months after this section becomes law, the Mayor shall formally present to the City Council a fully-funded plan to modernize the city’s K-12 educational infrastructure consistent with national standards or inform City Council such a plan is not feasible. You can read in full here. This was submitted by Richmond Crusade for Voters, and the main architect was political strategist Paul Goldman.

Richmond Sheriff
Antoinette Irving face Independent Nicole D. Jackson and Emmett Johnson Jafari

Richmond City Treasurer
Three women are running for city treasurer, none are incumbents. Nichole Ona R. Armstead is the Democratic candidate, who faces Independents Michelle R. Mosby and L. Shirley Harvey.

Richmond School Board -- District 3
Cindy Menz-Erb faces Dorian Daniels, Kenya Gibson, Joann Henry, and Kevin Starlings.

Issues at the poll?

Click here to let us know if you experience anything unusual at the polls.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.