When I walked in and handed the woman my license, she looked at my name carefully before typing it into the database. My mother had just submitted her own license for review and we both waited patiently. “Ok,” she said, looking up at us, “numbers 183 and 184 today.”
The elementary school gym was empty. My mother inquired about the turnout. Dejectedly, the woman in the American flag sweater shook her head. “Hardly anyone has showed up. The polls are only open for another hour and we haven’t even had 200 people come through. It’s even worse than the primaries in March.”
Truth be told, few remember or budget time to vote in a Republican primary in the middle of June, even during an election year. Fortunately, I had ample time earlier in the day to research the candidates and be an informed voter. Automatically, a candidate for both the United States Senate and the Representative for Virginia’s 11th district stood out to me. But standing in the polling booth, I realized that it was entirely possible that these two candidates may not win — simply because my counterparts had not done a background check like myself.
Tuesday's Virginia primary is just one more sign that the Republican Party is not energized. It starts from the top down. If we struggle to find enthusiasm for our Presidential candidate, we will fight to raise excitement for the candidate from the 11th District of Virginia.
It’s going to be a close election for most of Virginia’s public offices come November, since we have been identified as a battleground state. However, Republicans have to remember that the first step is showing up to the fight.