Today’s election could give Democrats control of the state legislature

A Richmond precinct ran out of ballots by 8 a.m. this morning, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, signaling already-high turnout in closely watched state elections that could give Democrats control of the General Assembly.

When voters showed up at First Presbyterian Church to vote in today’s state election, they were told they could wait for more ballots or come back later. Voters at that polling station may live in the 10th Senate District, which has one of the tighter races in the election: incumbent Republican Sen. Glen Sturtevant is being challenged by Democratic candidate Ghazal Hashmi. NBC 12 reports that about 40 people left without voting, which can be enough to shift the outcome of a state election.

Richmond’s general registrar, J. Kirk Showalter, said the precinct initially had only 150 ballots, because they expected a higher turnout at precincts that are fully in the 10th District.

Jennifer Daglio, who was one of the voters affected by the shortage, expressed her frustration in an interview.

“The fact that they ran out of ballots at all, much less that it happened at 8 a.m. when the polling station had been open for only two hours, was a source of frustration for many,” she told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Showalter said another 1,200 ballots were sent to the church once they discovered the shortage. He apologized to voters who were affected and said that it was the only issue the city had encountered thus far in the election.