Election 2022: Winners declared in Ward A and District 1 races

Published 9:03 am Tuesday, November 15, 2022

FARMVILLE – One week after Election Day, the Town of Farmville has a new council member for Ward A. John Hardy won with 156 votes out of 317, according to Prince Edward County Registrar Lynette Wright. The same goes for Prince Edward County, where Kelly Forsythe won the District 1 seat on the county school board. She collected 34 votes, out of 121. 

As we reported on Friday, the delay in getting results came from how the candidates were chosen. Nobody filed in time to get their name on the ballot, so in both races, it was an all write-in contest. As a result, canvassing took a lot longer. 

“We just finished canvassing today,” Wright said on Monday. 

The day after polls have closed, a city or county’s elections official checks the voter registration file, to verify the person’s eligibility to cast a ballot. This is the canvassing process. For write-in candidates, it’s a bit more complicated. Each write-in candidate has to be identified and it has to be determined if they actually live in the area where the seat represents.

For example, in the Ward A race, does the candidate live in Farmville’s Ward A district? If not, then that candidate is disqualified. And the group had to do this over and over for each person whose name was written in by voters on the ballot. 

State decision slows election results down

Also, results were held up by a state decision. Under Virginia law, absentee ballots have to be postmarked no later than Election Day and arrive the Friday after. That means in a normal situation, absentee ballots couldn’t have showed up after Friday, Nov. 11. But because Friday was Veterans Day, Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Susan Beals issued an order extending that deadline. Absentee ballots could show up in the mail through this past Monday, Nov. 14 and still be counted. 

“We had to go through and check our provisional ballots, then go to the post office and make sure no new ballots had come through,” Wright said. “It’s been pretty busy.” 

Overall though, Wright said she was happy with how the election turned out. 

“There was a really good turnout and everything went smoothly,” Wright said.