Hotly contested Brat, Spanberger race expected to bring record turnout to polls

RICHMOND, Va. -- Heads of elections all over the area are gearing up for a busy election day Tuesday, especially in the 7th congressional district, where absentee voting numbers are already triple what they've been in midterms of the past in many localities.

Rainy, yet colorful, fall weather doesn't seem to be keeping folks away from trying to paint Virginia red or blue.

Even though absentee voting ended Saturday, and polls don't open until early Tuesday, people steadily came through the doors of the Chesterfield elections office hoping to vote.

So much so, that our interview with the head of elections, kept getting interrupted.

The majority were turned away, not qualifying under Virginia law for emergency voting.

Constance Tyler

General Registrar and Director of Elections in Chesterfield County, Constance Tyler, said absentee voting numbers here are roughly triple what they were in the last midterm election.

"The yellow here, this is the 7th congressional district, so that's where I expect the largest turnout," Tyler said while pointing to a map on her wall.

She believes the higher turnout is because of the hotly contested 7th district Congressional race between President Trump-endorsed Republican Dave Brat, and Democrat Abigail Spanberger.

Eighty-six-year-old Johnny Bosher lives in Chesterfield and said he's energized to vote a straight Republican ticket.

"Trump is doing wonders," Bosher said.

His big issues are "Immigration, rule of law, enforcing the law."

But Linda Baxter, who also lives in Chesterfield, is a member of Liberal Women of Chesterfield County and said she is hopeful the country, and Virginia, sends a message that it's not happy with the President.

"It's really time for everyone to come out and get our country back," Baxter said.

While Bosher and Baxter vote in most elections, voter Jesse Smith seems to exemplify what Tyler means about increased voter turnout during the midterm.

Smith never votes in midterm elections, but this year, he will.

"I want people in place who are trying to bring everybody together and not divide them," Smith said.

Which means, Tyler anticipates a very busy election Tuesday despite a small threat of severe weather.

"I don't think it's going to be a factor tomorrow unless there is a tornado," Tyler said.

Constance Tyler expects lines to be longer at traditional times tomorrow: early morning, mid-afternoon and late evening, so if you want to breeze in and out try to go at off-peak times.