In the June 23 primary elections, Vangie Williams carried 14 of 21 localities in Virginia’s First District but still lost to Qasim Rashid for the party’s nomination for election to the House of Representatives in November. She carried Northumberland handily, 456 to 238 although problems with Democratic ballots made it seem dicey for both of them early in the day.
Electoral Board member Joe Schlatter said the board was horrified when it opened the packages of ballots marked “Democrat” and found all Republican ballots. The printer in Texas had made a mistake, Schlatter said.
The absence of Democratic ballots was serious because voters had to choose to vote in either the Democratic House of Representatives race or the Republican Senate race. They couldn’t vote in both and without ballots, they couldn’t vote in the Democratic race.
Schlatter said the electoral board improvised. Each precinct has a touch screen voting machine that can create a ballot.
The process takes several minutes but it allowed Democrats to vote early in the day. By noon, the printer had emailed 1,000 ballots to the board which it was able to print out. “Before noon every precinct had an ample supply of ballots,” Schlatter said.
While Rashid edged Williams but just over 2,000 votes, Republican senatorial candidate Daniel Gade clobbered his two opponents, Alissa Baldwin and Thomas Scalise.
Gade garnered 80 percent of the statewide GOP vote. In Northumberland he got 726 votes to Scalise’s 101 and Baldwin’s 82. He will face Senator Mark Warner in November.
Williams, who ran a creditable race against incumbent Republican congressman Rob Wittman in 2018 carried the entire Northern Neck and most of the other rural counties in the district. Middlesex and Mathews went for Rashid, which a Republican functionary attributed to “comeheres” in those rural localities. Rashid lost a state senate race against Richard Stuart in 2019.