What happened at Buckingham? Software errors cause delays

What happened at Buckingham? Software errors cause delays

Published at 13.44 Wednesday 8 November 2023

What happened to Buckingham? That was the question asked several times Tuesday night when the county’s numbers did not appear on the state’s website. In fact, by the end of the night, it was the only county in Virginia whose data had not been accepted.

The cause of that was a connectivity issue, state officials said, one that was quickly resolved later Wednesday morning. Basically, there was a bug in the software used to connect to the state, so while the data was being sent, it wasn’t recognized on the other side. The Electoral Office worked with the Buckingham Registrar’s office to get it sorted early on Wednesday, with results recognized minutes later. The registrar’s office did not respond to attempts to get comment, so we don’t know if the equipment had been tested before Tuesday.

Uncontested runs in Buckingham

So now that the results are in, who won and who lost? Most races had only one candidate, so subject to entries, those winners were known long before the end of the night. Kemper Beasley will return for another term as Buckingham’s Commonwealth’s Attorney, while Justin Midkiff will serve another term as Clerk of Court. Residents gave their support to the two men, but especially Midkiff, as he received 99% of the vote or 3,725 ballots. Those 3,725 ballots made him the top vote-getter in Buckingham, even beating out several names from the state races.

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With 97% of the vote, Billy Kidd will serve another term as Buckingham County Sheriff. Meanwhile, Stephanie Love will be Commissioner of Revenue with 99% of the ballots and Christy Christian will be the new Buckingham County Treasurer with 99%. For the Buckingham County School Board, it was Jeni Spessard who won the District 1 race with 97.8% of the vote. Pam Morris took the District 3 seat with 98% and Theresa Bryant won in District 7 with 92%. William Todd Jamerson had a challenger for the District 2 school board seat, but he took 74% of the vote, so absentee ballots would not be enough to change the outcome.

Not much changes in the supervisory board. Danny Allan stays in District 7, with Joe Chambers winning another term as District 6 representative. Cameron Gilliam and Dennis Davis also return to the board.

Waiting to count ballots

Now several races are in something of a holding pattern right now. Unofficially, yes, there are winners, but each contest was close enough that absentee or provisional votes could change the final result. For example, in the District 3 race for the Board of Supervisors, Michael Palmore currently leads by 389 votes. But incumbent Don Matthews is just 51 behind with 338, with hundreds more to count. Absentee ballots can still come in through Friday as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, so it could be Monday before we have a sure winner in this race or several others.

The District 4 Board of Supervisors race between Wes Saxon and Paul Garrett was nearly as close. Garrett wins with 337 votes, but Saxon is only 56 behind with 281. And for the District 5 seat on the board, so far it’s Harry Bryant with 45% of the vote in the three-way contest. Bryant has 257 votes, with Sherry Ragland, his closest opponent, at 202. In third place is Joe Breland with 100.

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Now in the school board there are several races where no one can tell who is in the lead since they are all write-ins. In each case, no one came forward to run before the deadline, so voters had to write in who they wanted for each seat. That includes the District 4, 5 and 6 seats.

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