Voting Hand Stock

With less than 180 days before the November election, thousands of delegates will travel across the state Saturday to participate in the Virginia GOP nominating convention, where they will select their candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

There are 39 voting locations set up across the commonwealth, with two locations within the sixth congressional district — the Augusta County Parks and Recreation building and the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds.

Delegates will not be able to vote at their normal polling locations, only at locations specified by the Virginia GOP.

Delegates registered to vote who reside in Rockingham County or Harrisonburg will cast their ballots at the Augusta County Parks and Recreation building located at the Augusta County Government Center. Voters in Augusta, Bath, Highland and Rockbridge counties, as well as the cities of Buena Vista, Lexington, Staunton and Waynesboro will also vote at this location.

Curbside voting will be available at the Augusta County Government Center. Delegates will have to vote in-person as the government center location is not drive-thru voting.

Delegates residing in the counties of Page, Shenandoah and Warren will vote at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds.

Only delegates registered to participate in the convention will be allowed to vote Saturday. Registered voters who missed the April 16 deadline to become a delegate will not qualify to cast a ballot.

Daryl Borgquist, chair of the Rockingham County Republican Committee, said the county has more than 850 delegates registered for Saturday’s convention.

“At least 50% of delegates voting at the Verona location are from Rockingham County,” he said.

Rockingham County surpassed its registered delegate total from 2018 by roughly 100 people, Borgquist said, adding that Saturday’s convention is the largest county delegation to date.

The convention runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and ballots will be cast under a ranked-choice voting system.

“Ranked-choice voting will be different for people,” Borgquist said.

Under the ranked-choice voting system, voters rank the candidates in order of preference, The Associated Press reports. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, the last-place finisher is eliminated and that candidate’s votes are reallocated to whomever those voters listed as their second preference.

A candidate needs to receive 50% of votes in order to win the convention and secure the Republican nomination.

Borgquist said delegates casting a ballot with only their top choice marked isn’t the best strategy because determining a winner will be a multiple-round process.

“If no one is chosen in the first round, it’s going to the second choice,” he said. “Lowest choice is important because that candidate will drop-off.”

The best way to go is for a delegate to mark the entire ballot, not just with their top two choices for candidates. As The Associated Press reported Thursday, a voter’s second choice could lead to a winning candidate.

Republican candidates running for governor will appear on the ballot as follows: Glenn Youngkin, Amanda Chase, Kirk Cox, Peter Doran, Sergio de la Pena, Pete Snyder and Octavia Johnson.

For lieutenant governor, the ballot will read: Lance Allen, Tim Hugo, Maeve Rigler, Glenn Davis, Puneet Ahluwalia and Winsome Sears.

The shortest selection comes from the attorney general candidates. The ballot will read: Chuck Smith, Jason Miyares, Jack White and Leslie Haley.

Once the convention is over, ballots will be counted in a central location by multiple witnesses with candidate representatives in place as observers.

Contact Jessica Wetzler at 574-6279 or jwetzler@dnronline.com. Follow Jessica on Twitter @wetzler_jessica

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