By Carla Branch

Virginia will hold Democratic and Republican Primary Elections tomorrow. In Alexandria, absentee voting is up 114% from the 2015 Primary Election: to date, Alexandria voters have cast 2557 absentee ballots while in 2015 they cast 1196 absentee ballots.

Alexandria Democrats are holding Primaries to select a candidate for Mayor and six candidates for City Council. To date, 2328 Alexandrians have cast absentee ballots in the Democratic Primary. Statewide, Republicans are choosing a candidate for U.S. Senate who will challenge U.S. Senator Tim Kaine in November. Alexandrians have cast 229 absentee ballots in the Republican Primary.

In-person absentee voting ended on Saturday but absentee ballots that are mailed and received in the Office of the Registrar by close of business on Tuesday will be counted. There are 453 ballots that were mailed but have not yet been returned.

“While absentee voting is up significantly, we don’t believe there is a direct correlation between that increase and increased voter turn-out,” said Alexandria General Registrar Anna Leider. “In 2015, voter turn-out in the Primary was 16.6%. We estimate that voter turn-out this year will be about 20%.”

There are 94,492 active registered voters in Alexandria, up from 82,646 in June, 2015. If 20% of those voters participate in tomorrow’s Primary Election, 18,898 people will vote. Alexandria Republicans are not nominating a candidate for Mayor, so unless an Independent candidate emerges before close of business tomorrow, the Democratic Primary will decide who will be Alexandria’s next mayor. Alexandria Republicans are reportedly nominating two candidates for City Council and one Independent candidate has already qualified to be on the November ballot running for a seat on the Alexandria City Council. This means that the six Democrats who emerge as city Council candidates in tomorrow’s Primary will be challenged by at least one Independent candidate and two Republican candidates in November.

The polls will open tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.  Be prepared.