by Megan Schiffres
RICHMOND—Following statewide polling on Tuesday, November 6, incumbent Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine was re-elected to the U.S. Senate, defeating Republican challenger Corey Stewart and Libertarian candidate Matt Waters.
In the First District, incumbent Republican Rep. Rob Wittman was re-elected to the House of Representatives, defeating Democrat Vangie Williams.
According to unofficial results posted at the Virginia Department of Elections website, Sen. Kaine won with 56.89% of the vote. Stewart earned 41.12% and Waters, 1.85%.
The majority of voters in both Northumberland and Lancaster counties cast their ballots in support of Stewart, who won 56.90% of the 6,265 votes in Northumberland and in Lancaster, 51.66% of the 5,705 votes cast.
Rep. Wittman won with 55.22% of the vote. Vangie Williams earned 44.69% of the votes cast in the district.
Both Northumberland and Lancaster counties supported Rep. Wittman in his bid for re-election. He won 61.98% of the 6,275 votes cast in Northumberland and 57.25% of the 5,712 votes cast in Lancaster.
Participation in the election for both Northumberland and Lancaster counties increased dramatically this year compared to voter turnout in the 2014 midterm general election.
“It is better for the midterm by far than previous years,” said Ed Johnson, vice chairman of the Northumberland electoral board. “I don’t think it’s going to be as good as the presidential election though.”
While more people participated in the 2016 presidential election than voted on Tuesday, the increase in midterm voter participation in the Northern Neck region is significant. In Northumberland, 22.17% more people voted in this midterm election than the last, and in Lancaster, voter turnout increased by 24.21% compared to the 2014 midterm election.
Two proposed constitutional amendment questions featured on the Virginia ballot were overwhelmingly approved by voters across the Commonwealth.
The first, which proposed that a county, city, or town be authorized to provide a partial tax exemption for real property subject to recurrent flooding, if flooding resiliency improvements have been made on the property, was approved with 70.70% of the vote statewide.
In Northumberland county, the proposed amendment passed with 55.32% of the 6,110 votes cast, while in Lancaster, the amendment was approved by 62.72% of the 5,529 people who voted.
The second constitutional amendment on the ballot in Virginia proposed that the real property tax exemption for a primary residence provided to the surviving spouses of veterans who had a one 100% service-connected, permanent, and total disability be amended to allow the surviving spouse to move to a different primary residence and still claim exemption. State-wide the amendment passed with 84.31% of the votes.
In Northumberland county, the proposed amendment passed with 82.53% of the 6,176 votes cast, while in Lancaster, the amendment was approved by 83.11% of the 5,560 people who voted.