What is a firehouse primary?

What is a firehouse primary?

Both Republicans and Virginia Democrats have tight deadlines to fill Virginia’s 4th Circuit seat in the US House of Representatives. The seat, which newly elected Rep. Donald McEachin held from 2017 until his death on November 28, covers much of central Virginia.

According to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s election charter, party nominees must finally stand by 5:00 p.m. on December 23. The special election is scheduled for February 21.

The 4th Ward includes all or part of Brunswick, Charles City, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Prince George, Surry, Sussex, Chesterfield, Henrico and Southampton counties. It also includes the cities of Colonial Heights, Emporia, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Richmond.

You can verify your current registered voter information through the Virginia Department of Elections to confirm if you reside in the 4th or verify your congressional district on the US House of Representatives website.

How do parties choose their candidates and what does that mean for voters?

What is a fire station?

A fire primary — also known as a mass election, party election, or non-convened caucus — is a type of primary conducted and paid for by a political party rather than a state elections agency. Under state election law, a Virginia fire department primary is virtually equivalent to any type of special election for state or national office held outside of the November general election.

This style of party solicitation became popular in Virginia, according to the Political Dictionary, and other states and countries have since adopted the practice. It was last used in Virginia to now select Del. Bill Wiley (R–Winchester) in August 2020. Wiley won the November 2020 general election.

Both Democrats and Republicans will use a fire department area code for this special election, although Republicans have described Saturday’s vote as “party solicitation.”

This time, no actual fire stations will be used for voting in either party’s primary.

OK, but why no fire stations?

time and circumstance, really. Fire stations are not ordinary venues, and those used to vote in general elections have weeks or months to prepare. Again, these are special elections specifically conducted by the state party organizations and not by the electoral department.

17 December: Republican Party campaign

The Virginia Republican Party will host their party campaign for the 4th Circuit special election Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m at Life Christian Academy at 1221 Boulevard in Colonial Heights.

Republicans will use ranked voting.

“Conducting this election on a Saturday will give voters in the 4th Circuit the best opportunity to hear their voices more fully and allow the maximum number of people to participate,” the Virginia Republican Party said in a statement. “Furthermore, in intra-party contests, ranked voting allows the candidate with the broadest base of support to win. Virginia Republicans are committed to holding a fair, simple, and safe election process that allows the maximum number of voters to participate in the process.”

Who is Running in the Republican Primary?

Two Republicans have declared their candidacy: Leon Benjamin Sr., who lost to McEachin in last month’s general election, and Dale Sturdifen, a retired Virginia State Police officer and congressman.

What do I need to bring to the vote?

Bring a valid photo ID and proof of address. RPV did not specify whether primary officials would require signed declarations of Republican Party affiliation.

Should I go to my regular polling station to vote in the area code?

No, since this primary is being run by the Virginia Republican Party, the only voting venue is Life Christian Academy in Colonial Heights.

Do I have to be a registered Republican to vote in Saturday’s primary?

Not necessarily, but you to do must already be a registered voter.

Dec. 20: Democratic Fire Department primary

The Virginia Democratic Party operates a primary fire station at several locations in the area 6 a.m. to 7 p.m Tuesday.

Who is running in the Democratic primary?

Candidates had until noon Friday to declare their nominations, submit a $3,480 filing fee and obtain 150 signatures from registered voters from the 4th congressional district.

State Sens. Jennifer McClellan and Joe Morrissey declared their intention to run for office earlier this week. Former Del. Joe Preston and activist Tavorise brands have also announced their candidacy.

Del. Lamont Bagby threw his hat in the ring but has since retired and supported McClellan.

Virginia’s Democratic Party confirmed Friday that Marks, McClellan, Morrissey and Preston will stand for election.

Do I have to be a registered Democrat to vote in the primary?

No, but you to do must already be a registered voter. According to the special elections committee for the district, any registered voter who brings photo identification and is willing to sign a statement declaring himself a Democrat can vote at any polling station. There will also be a preliminary vote.

What do I need to bring to the vote?

Bring everything you would normally bring to the polls, mainly a valid photo ID and proof of address. For a complete list of qualifying documents, see the Virginia Democrats’ Call to Caucus documentation.

Should I go to my regular polling station to vote in the area code?

No, because this primary isn’t run by the Virginia Department of Elections — it’s run by the Democratic Party of Virginia. Unlike a state election, eligible voters may cast their ballots at any of the polling stations listed for a fire department primary.

As of Friday, there are eight polling stations – up from five in the original announcement:

  • Braunschweig Conference Center: 100 Athletic Field Road, Lawrenceville
  • Dogtown Dance Studio: 109 W. 15th St., Richmond
  • Variety Richmond: 1407 Sherwood Ave., Richmond
  • IBEW Local 666: 1390 E. Nine Mile Road, Highland Springs
  • Tabernacle Baptist Church: 444 Halifax St., Petersburg
  • Meadowdale Library: 4301 Meadowdale Blvd., North Chesterfield
  • Surry Parks and Recreation Center: 205 Enos Farm Dr., Surry
  • Charles City Government Center: 10900 Courthouse Road, Charles City

“Tuesday’s polling locations for the Firehouse Primary were chosen to provide voters in Virginia’s 4th congressional district with the widest possible access,” said Liam Watson, interim press secretary for the Virginia Democrats. “Because this is such a large district, the goal of the 4th Congressional District Democratic Committee was to provide as many sites as possible to increase voting access.”

Watson said the party wasn’t expecting to add more polling stations before Tuesday, so it should be these eight.

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