"It’s a great day! As long as you’re having fun, keep smiling!" That was a supporter of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds, propping up her candidate—who has lagged in recent polls—as he arrived at Charlottesville’s Downtown Recreation Center at around 11:30 today. A gum-chewing Deeds told a crowd of about 15 supporters that he has "plenty of energy," and they responded with cheers.
The New York Times and Washington Post had cameras on hand to record Deeds’ visit, and the candidate told C-VILLE that he’d spent several hours this morning on radio call-in shows around the state, to urge voters to get out to polls. "What I learned last time is that every vote counts," he said. Voters sidled past reporters and TV cameras to enter the Rec Center; Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman said that 618 voters had been to this station as of 11am, "a pretty good number for a gubernatorial election."
Though no signs or supporters were in evidence for Bob McDonnell, one voter told C-VILLE she’d just marked her ballot for the Republican candidate. "I’m not a liberal," Patti Weis explained. As for the City Council election, she’d voted for change ("not Norris," she said, meaning incumbent mayor Dave Norris) and had gone for independent Bob Fenwick instead.
Richard Lloyd, a Fenwick supporter, was outside the polling place in a blue Fenwick shirt, and said his candidate was getting "a very high turnout" at the Downtown station as well as in Fry’s Spring. Democratic candidates Norris and Kristin Szakos were not present, but their names jumped out from lots of signs and buttons.
UPDATE: At 1pm, City of Charlottesville reports 18.6 percent voter turnout.
UPDATE: At 1pm, Albemarle County reports 25.9 percent voter turnout, or 17,424 voters cast their ballots.