Voting begins for Miss VA

Published 5:15 am Thursday, May 19, 2016

The public vote for Miss Virginia 2016 began Monday. Twenty-seven young ladies from across the state will compete for the crown June 23-25 in Roanoke and the chance to become Miss America 2016 in Atlantic City in September.

The “People’s Choice” Internet Vote that the pageant started several years ago is one of the most popular aspects of the annual event. Last year, more than 7,000 votes were placed for the contestants. The voting link is available at www.missva.org. The Internet Vote ends at 10 p.m. Friday, June 24.

The highest vote-getter becomes the 11th semifinalist in the final evening of the Miss Virginia competition on Saturday, June 25.

Instead of naming the traditional “Top 10” — who receive the highest judges’ scores during preliminary competitions — the pageant names the “Top 11.”

The 11th is the contestant who receives the highest number of Internet votes but was not already in the “Top 10” from the judges’ preliminary scores.

No one, not even the judges, will know which finalist is the “people’s choice” until after all of the competitions and balloting are completed during Saturday night’s final competition.

If the highest vote-getter is already in the “Top 10” from the judges’ preliminary competition scores, then the next highest vote-getter gets that spot to compete in the finals, and so on.

However, the highest vote getter still receives the $500 “People’s Choice” scholarship provided by Jennifer Pitts McKenna, Miss Virginia 2001, at the end of the pageant.

The online voting is unlimited — people can vote as many times as they like for as many contestants as they like — at a cost of 99 cents per vote.

Votes only count after payment is processed.

Proceeds go to the Miss Virginia Scholarship Fund.

Voters just go to the Miss Virginia Pageant website, www.missva.org.

There will be a link to click that will take users to the voting site being managed by a secure, independent server.

Payments will be accepted by credit or debit cards via PayPal.

“Our goal is to give people the chance to help their favorite contestant(s) get into the finals and possibly win the title,” said Harlen Gudger, pageant executive director.

“Plus, we give the public a vested interest to attend the pageant on Saturday night to see if their favorite(s) advance(s) in the competition”.

The final night of competition begins at 8 p.m. in Roanoke’s Berglund Center.

Tickets cost $50. Preliminary competitions take place Thursday and Friday, June 23 and 24, at 8 p.m. at the Berglund Center.

Those tickets are $ 40 for each night.

Tickets go on sale June 1 at the Berglund Center box office.

The current Miss Virginia, Savannah Lane, who finished as a “Top 15 Finalist” at the 2015 Miss America Pageant, will crown her successor.

Lane has won more than $37,000 in scholarships at local, state and national levels of Miss America competitions.

The Miss Virginia program is a not-for-profit organization making available more than $350,000 annually in cash and in-kind scholarships to colleges and universities in several states.

For more information on public voting or on the Miss Virginia competition, contact Mark Schreier, Internet Vote coordinator, at (540) 797-8791.