CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) – Saturday, the fate of the Republican Party of Virginia was on the ballot.
Registered delegates came out in droves to cast their vote for who they want to see compete for Virginia’s top spots this November. Those on the ballot include the governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.
Instead of a primary, the GOP opted for a convention this year. Republicans who wanted to participate were also required to register as a delegate.
Saturday, delegates lined up their cars at 39 locations across the state to cast their vote. Officials tell 8News 54,000 delegates were registered.
Rich Anderson, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, reported no major hiccups with the process to 8News Saturday afternoon.
“We’ve never done this before on this scale anywhere in the United States,” Anderson said. “With 54,000 registered delegates, this is the largest state party convention ever in United States history. We then, of course, have 17 candidates, which is the largest number we’ve had in modern memory for the three statewide offices so this has a lot of moving parts.”
Delegate Isaiah Hicks told 8News the process took just minutes.
“It was very simple – just a drive through convention,” he said. “Fast and simple.”
Other voters, like Susan Ham, are hoping for some normalcy next year.
“I was a little skeptical at first, but it actually isn’t that bad,” she explained. “So, hopefully next year we get to have a real one.”
Rather than selecting a single candidate, delegates ranked their choices in a system called ‘ranked-choice voting’. Delegates can list only person if they want, but also have the option to make a second choice, third choice, etc. Results, however, aren’t expected to be available for a few days.
The ballots will be taken to the Richmond Marriot and be safely guarded overnight. They will be hand-counted under video surveillance starting Sunday afternoon.
“We will hand-count these ballots to give assurance and visibility and full transparency to all the campaigns and anyone else who’s watching,” Anderson said. ” That’s very important. To ensure in people’s eyes that the outcome of the three nominees is legitimate.”
Officials hope results will be ready by Tuesday.