RADFORD – The COVID-19 pandemic conditions kept turnout light for the City of Radford’s municipal elections Tuesday, with the majority of citizens who did cast their votes dong so by absentee ballot.
The election was postponed for two weeks, from May 5 to May 19, by order of Gov. Ralph Northam.
Onassis Burress and Forrest Hite won the two open seats on Radford City Council. Burress received 949 votes and Hite garnered 905 votes.Incumbent Dr. Richard Harshberger came in third with 816 votes and Andrew Crane received 614 votes.
For the two open seats on Radford City School Board, Jenny Riffe received 834 votes and Joseph “Jody” Ray received 754 votes, narrowly beating Chris Calfee who earned 748 votes. Justin Mosby received 659 votes and Mary Knarr Smith received 264 votes.
The school board race was too close to call Tuesday night, with just three votes separating Ray and Calfee. According to Radford Voter Registrar Tracy Howard, “there were four provisional ballots the Electoral Board adjudicated.”
“The Provisional Ballots are accepted at the precinct, but not checked in or actually counted,” said Howard. “In this case the four voters had Absentee Ballots issued by the office, but chose to vote in person at the precinct. Since they did not have the original ballot to exchange the mailed ballot for a flat ballot (as per process) they voted provisionally until it could be shown that their first ballot was not counted in the Absentee precinct. Each voter could vote for two council and two school board members, resulting an increase of 8 votes in each office.”
– Heather Bell