RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Over 12 hours since they began, volunteers are still counting ballots to determine who will be the Democratic nominee in a special election to fill the seat for the 4th Congressional District.
Nearly 26,500 ballots were cast during Tuesday’s Democratic party-run firehouse primary for the 4th Congressional District — almost double what was submitted for Donald McEachin’s primary contest in 2016 with 15,700 ballots.
As of 10 p.m., a little over half of the votes –14,407 — have been counted. What started as five tellers hand-counting the ballots has since been increased to 11 tellers. Making their way through precincts in alphabetical order, the tellers have counted five precincts with three locations left — including the city of Richmond and Surry County.
“We want to make sure that we get this done right. And we’ll be here until we get it done,” said Alexsis Rodger, chair of the 4th Congressional District Democratic Committee.
Four candidates sought the Democratic nomination for the 4th Congressional District race: State Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), State Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond), attorney Joseph Preston, a former Democratic state delegate, and Tavorise Marks, a civil rights advocate and entrepreneur who previously ran for the House of Delegates.
The ballots will be counted until the nominee is determined. Watson said the counting will be finished “come hell or high water.”
“This is a volunteer process,” Rodgers said. “We don’t have any fancy machines that are scanning through the ballots. We’ve got hands. We got brains, we got calculators.”
The Virginia Democratic party has scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m. tomorrow morning to announce the winner.