Lack of Voter, Candidate Interest in Scottsville Election

By: Chris Stover Email
By: Chris Stover Email

May 5, 2014

Tuesday is election day for a number of localities across the commonwealth, including Scottsville, but some voters in that area don't even know it.

"I know absolutely nothing," Scottsville resident Ramona Jordan said. "I don't even know who's running."

There's only one campaign sign along Route 20 and two voting machines in town council chambers for the election. There are six open seats on town council, and only four people are running.

"It's not unique," Mayor Barry Grove said. "Of course, it's not desirable. Doesn't seem to be all that much interest in serving on the council. That's curious to me because I think it's fun to be on the council."

Grove ran unopposed for mayor in 2010. He's running for his third two-year term, and for the third time, he's running unopposed.

Another issue on Tuesday will be voter turnout. Grove said having 85 to 100 people come out to vote would be considered a success.

"It doesn't take a whole lot of time to count the votes here in Scottsville," he said.

Write-in votes will decide who fills the remaining two seats on council. There are three people running so-called "write-in" campaigns.

Just because there are two open slots on the ballot doesn't mean a voter can write the same name twice. If that happens, per Virginia code, the entire ballot is invalid.

"I don't know much about it at all," Scottsville resident James "Nip" Chisholm said about the election. "In fact, I wish I did know more about it."

The mood around the town of 550 people is somewhat oblivious, with many not realizing anyone could have the chance to serve on town council.

When asked if he'd serve on council if chosen as a write-in, Chisholm declined.

"I'm retired now," he said. "I'm 71. I think I had enough."

Jordan, though, would use the opportunity to her advantage.

"Then I could try to find out what's going on," she said.

Polls open at Victory Hall at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

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