VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach election officials say they saw a slow start to voting Tuesday morning.
For a special election, Virginia Beach Electoral Board Chairman Jeff Marks said it doesn’t come as a surprise.
“Virginia Beach has about 110 precincts," Marks said. "You only have about 50 that are voting today.”
Marks says close to 4,400 people voted early in-person in Virginia Beach.
He also said that as of yesterday, nearly 5,300 voters have returned an absentee ballot.
As of 9 a.m. on Special Election Day, about 3,600 voters cast a ballot at the polls.
Those who did show up to the polls were greeted by Republican candidate Kevin Adams and Democratic candidate Aaron Rouse.
“I want them to know who their public servant is going to be," Adams said. "Someone that generally cares about what’s going on with them.”
Rouse, a former Virginia Beach city council member, met with voters outside of the College Park Elementary School precinct, reminding them of his promise to protect reproductive rights.
“It’s important to see a candidate here at the polls that support them, but a candidate that has been supporting them since I’ve been a kid here,” Rouse said.
“And that we will seek to find bipartisanship support for public education and try to make sure we find bipartisanship for defining an economy that works for everybody."
Adams, a retired Navy Lieutenant Commander, told voters outside King’s Grant Elementary School his plan to fund police departments and support veterans.
“There’s a lot at stake here as far as getting the Governor’s agenda passed," Adams said.
"And you know the economic issues that we want to deal with to bring growth to the area.”
Voters like Christine Benns hope her vote will move the 7th District forward.
“There’s so much division, and I wanted to vote to try to bring some peace and cooperation,” she said.
Virginia Beach residents aren't the only ones casting a ballot for the Special Election.
The Norfolk General Registrar said registered voters at Azalea Gardens, Little Creek and part of Tarrallton precincts are in the former 7th Senate District and are still eligible to vote in today’s Special Election.
Election officials said 70 people vote early in-person and 166 returned absentee ballots for these precincts.
According to the election's office, there are nearly 6,000 eligible voters within these Norfolk precincts.