March 1, 2012
Virginia will be one of the ten states holding its Republican presidential primary on Super Tuesday.
Since city schools are in session on Tuesday, March 6, Charlottesville voters will cast their ballot for either Mitt Romney or Ron Paul while kids are right next door in class.
“This only happens once every four years. We’re so fortunate in November that our November election schools are closed,” Charlottesville registrar Sheri Iachetta explained.
Machines Locked Down
The Charlottesville registrar's office has tested every voting machine that will be used for Tuesday's Republican presidential primary, and now the machines are locked up until March 6.
Virginia has an open primary, meaning that any of the city's 28,000 registered voters can cast a ballot on Super Tuesday. But they won't have many options.
Congressman Ron Paul and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are the only candidates who qualified to make the Virginia ballot. And since Virginia does not allow write-in candidates, Paul and Romney will be the only two choices for voters.
Four elementary schools are used as voting precincts in Charlottesville – Walker Upper, Venable, Johnson and Clark. Iachetta says parking and traffic are her biggest worries. To combat those potential problems, police will be at each school assisting with traffic.
Iachetta hopes voters will plan ahead on Tuesday and do their best to avoid the busiest times of the school day.
“There’s going to be a point in time where the school buses are dropping the kids off in the morning and then picking them up in the afternoon,” she said.
Familiar voting locations within schools will also change to avoid disrupting the students. For example, voting at Johnson Elementary will not take place in the cafeteria because the kids will need to use it for lunch.
“It will be the entryway in the auditorium,” Iachetta said. “There will be clear signs and volunteers to help.”
And one final logistical note, construction on the new Jefferson School City Center means voters normally assigned to the Carver precinct will instead vote at the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) on Tuesday. That building is located at 1414 Westwood Road.
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