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What Virginia voters need to know on Election Day

November 5, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia voters will make their picks Tuesday in several competitive congressional races that could help determine control of the U.S. House as well as a special state House election that will decide the balance of power in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Voters will also cast ballots in a U.S. Senate contest between Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine and Republican challenger Corey Stewart.

Polls will be open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Each voter will need to bring a photo ID. Valid forms of identification include a driver’s license, passport or student ID. A voter who forgets ID can cast a provisional ballot but will have to complete follow-up steps to ensure that it’s counted.

Anyone not already registered won’t be able to vote. Virginia doesn’t allow same-day registration.

Here’s a look at some key races:



The only statewide contest this year is between Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine and Republican Corey Stewart, a firebrand supporter of President Donald Trump.

Kaine is the heavy favorite to win. He’s had large leads in most polls and has enjoyed a massive cash advantage to finance advertising and get out the vote efforts.

Stewart has been all but abandoned by national Republicans and the White House. Best known for his outspoken support of Confederate monuments and hardline views on immigration, Stewart has focused heavily on attacking Kaine personally.

Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate during her unsuccessful 2016 presidential run, has emphasized inclusivity in his campaign and centered his message on a “Virginia that works for all.”



Republican U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock, who represents this Northern Virginia district, has long been considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents in Congress.

The district includes many wealthy suburban voters who dislike Trump. Hillary Clinton won the district by 10 percentage points, and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam won by 11.

Comstock has tried hard to emphasis her independence from Trump. She easily beat a Democrat in 2016 when her district went for Clinton.

Comstock is facing Jennifer Wexton, a former prosecutor and current Democratic state senator.



This Hampton Roads-area seat is another swing district with a vulnerable Republican. GOP U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor is seeking a second term in a district Northam won by four percentage points. The former Navy SEAL is running against Democrat Elaine Luria, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who spent 20 years on active duty.

The race was marked by a ballot-fraud scandal that tainted Taylor’s campaign. Some of Taylor’s staff members were accused of forging voters’ signatures to help place a third-party “spoiler candidate” on the ballot.



Two-term Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Brat is trying to hold to a seat in a Richmond-area district that has been held by Republicans since 1971. He’s facing former CIA officer and political newcomer Abigail Spanberger.

Brat has touted the strong economy and tax cuts under Trump and has portrayed Spanberger as a radical liberal and often compared her to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Brat scored a huge upset four years ago when he defeated then-U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Spanberger cast herself as a moderate during the race and slammed Brat for being out of touch with voters in the district.



This is another district Republicans are trying to hold on to. The district stretches from northern Virginia hunt country through Charlottesville down to southside Virginia and the North Carolina line.

The seat is currently held by first-term Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Garrett, who ended his re-election bid in May after announcing he planned to seek treatment for alcoholism.

Distillery owner and Air Force veteran Denver Riggleman, a Republican, is facing off Democrat Leslie Cockburn, a former investigative journalist and producer for “60 Minutes.”



Virginia state House elections are normally held on off years, but the retirement of Del. Greg Habeeb led to a special election in this Roanoke-area seat.

Republicans need to win the seat to hold onto their narrow 51-49 advantage in the state house. Republican Joe McNamara is facing Democrat Carter Turner.


For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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