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Virginia elections drawing national attention as only state with fight for control of the legislature

Republicans hold narrow majorities in the state Senate and House of Delegates, as Democrats try to gain control of the legislature for the first time in 26 years.

GAINESVILLE, Va. — Millions of eyeballs are on Virginia on this election day, as voters offer clues to the national mood -- and determine who will control the General Assembly in Richmond.

As of 4 p.m., voter turnout in Fairfax County was 25.1% with hours to go. Turnout for non-presidential election years is typically less than 30% total.

With redistricting of the state's political boundaries coming following next year's census, control of the state Senate and House of Delegates is hugely important.

In Prince William County, two races could help put Democrats in charge of the state legislature for the first time since 1993. 

Prince William County is a battleground area in a state that's trending blue, but could still be a presidential battleground. Both parties have been pouring money into the Delegate race in District 40 and the Senate race in District 13.

At Bull Run Middle School, a steady stream of voters showed up to vote in two of the hardest fought races in Northern Virginia. Democrat John Bell is battling Republican Geary Higgins for the Senate seat, while Republican Tim Hugo is trying to fend off Democrat Dan Helmer for the last GOP held Delegate seat in Northern Virginia.

But what's perhaps most remarkable is how all these races have been nationalized. Asked what issues were important to her, Republican Christine McGuirk ticked off a list of issues important to President Trump. 

"Immigration control, basic law enforcement support," McGuirk said.

Republican Senate candidate Higgins has tried to focus on local issues. 

"I won't stop fighting until these tolls come down," Hggins said in one ad, while standing on the Dulles Toll Road and blaming Bell for the rising prices.

But President Trump has tweeted his support, and sucked up a lot of the oxygen from both sides.

"He's effective. I could do without his personality," GOP voter Pat Phillips said. 

"Children being locked up, not good," Democrat Atal Mohmand said. "The Supreme Court is going to be an issue in the next four years. That's what concerns me." 

There have been some reported Election Day problems. The Commissioner of the Department of Elections said some voters in Stafford County were given the wrong ballots for the wrong races, which also happened in 2017. In Richmond, one precinct got way too few ballots, while another got way too many.

It's not clear if those problems were big enough to potentially change outcomes.

RELATED: VERIFY: Here are all the confirmed voting problems in Virginia

RELATED: Pivotal Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William races could change the course of Virginia elections

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