Nelson County residents were out bright and early Nov. 5 to ensure their voices were heard. By noon on Tuesday, over 3,000 voters had cast their ballots in Nelson County.
Jackie Britt, director of elections, said by 10 a.m. the number of those who voted had surpassed the number of those who had voted by the same time in the 2015 election, totaling 2,111. That trend remained constant through noon. In 2015, only 2,390 ballots had been cast by noon compared to 3,131 this year.
Britt said total, Nelson County has 11,062 registered voters. Of those, 10,779 are active voters.
At the new Roseland precinct at the Massies Mill Ruritan Club on Patrick Henry Highway, the number of voters had hit double digits in the first eight minutes polls were open.
Incumbent Independent Sheriff David Hill and challenger Republican Daniel Jones were at the precinct at 6 a.m. and among the first to vote.
Over at the Carriage House at Oak Ridge in Shipman, South District representative on the board of supervisors and incumbent Republican Larry Saunders and his challenger Democrat Robert Barton were outside campaigning as the sun was rising. By 6:55 a.m., the Carriage House had seen 55 voters come through its door.
Over at the Rockfish Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, more than 100 voters had cast ballots before 8 a.m. Poll workers said that was about the average number they see on Election Day by that time. Britt said the Rockfish Precinct is the largest, totaling 2,198 voters. Montebello is the smallest, with just 164 registered voters.
For Nelson native Meredith Jackson, getting up and voting is important.
“Our voice matters,” Jackson said.
Kathryn Jarvis, who has been in the county for 24 years, said she always votes and could remember going to the polls with her parents when she was just a little girl.
“My parents taught me voting, paying taxes, and serving on juries are privileges we shouldn’t take for granted. We’re lucky we get to do this,” Jarvis said.
On the other side of the county at the Faber precinct on Irish Road in the Central District, 133 voters had received “I voted” stickers by 10 a.m.
For all residents anywhere in the county, no matter who they voted for, the Nelson County Rotary Club hosted its ninth annual Election Day pancakes event. The public had an opportunity to come to Calvary Baptist Church on U.S. 29 to purchase pancakes and other breakfast foods from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Martha Warring, with the rotary club, said the money raised at the breakfast goes to a number of different organizations including helping a village in El Salvador and providing high school student scholarships.