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Election officials getting prepped for presidential primary

Testing of Arlington voting equipment slated for next week

Members of the Arlington Electoral Board and election staff have set the wheels in motion for conducting the March 5 presidential primary.

Electoral Board members will gather Feb. 15 at 8 a.m. for testing of equipment, a necessary prerequisite to conducting the election. Arlington’s political-party chairs or their designees can attend the event, but it is not open to the public.

Electoral Board members also have scheduled a meeting for March 6 at noon to address any provisional ballots that have been cast and to start the “canvass” to confirm election results, then meet the weekend of March 9-10 to “get as much as we can done,” said Electoral Board secretary Kim Phillip.

Electoral Board members plan to convene on Monday, March 11 for a final certification of the vote totals, a day before the state deadline.

Virginia Democrats and Republicans will be holding their presidential-nominating processes via the March 5 primaries, although in each case the races effectively could be over by then. On Virginia’s Democratic ballot are Joe Biden, Marianne Williamson and Dean Phillips; on the GOP ballot are Donald Trump, Chris Christie, Vivek Ramaswamy, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Ryan Binkley.

Under Virginia law, voters do not register by political party, so any voter can vote in either primary, but not both. Early voting opened Jan. 19.

March 5 will be a stand-alone election; no other Virginia elections currently are slated for that day.

At their Feb. 6 meeting, Electoral Board members also set in place the schedule for early voting in the June 18 primary, which will include a Democratic field of County Board candidates and, potentially, races for U.S. Senate and 8th District House of Representatives.