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2016-3-3

Obituary-Billy Edward Davis

Billy Edward Davis, age 83, of Dolphin, Va. passed away March 1, 2016.  He is the son of the late Andrew Jackson and Kelsie Lee Davis.  He is preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Harrison Davis; his brother, Andrew Jackson Davis, Jr.; and son-in-law Robert Peebles.  He is survived by four children, Andy Davis and wife Rosemary, Trena Peebles, Sheryl Thomason and husband Ricky, and Lesia Allen and husband Jeff; his grandchildren, Bobby Peebles and wife Jennifer, Kevin Peebles and wife Ashley, Michelle Sasser and husband Clay, Tara Peebles, Kelsey Medlin and husband Mike, Betsy Sam and husband Wayne, Chris Davis and wife Jackie, Jonathan Davis and wife Tina, Michael Davis and wife Whitney, and Katherine Davis;  his great grandchildren, Tiler Peebles, Aaron Peebles, Haley Peebles, Caleb Sasser, Ashleigh Sasser, Kullen Peebles, Annsley Peebles, Maggie Medlin, Jackson Medlin, Aidan Sam, Ava Sam, Emma Davis, Drew Davis, and Savannah Davis; his sister, June Love Davis Harris; and special friend, Irene Mayton.  Funeral services will be conducted 2:00 p.m. Friday at Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville with interment at Oakwood Park Cemetery, Lawrenceville.  The family will receive friends Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home.  Memorial contributions may be made to The Gideons International, P.O. Box 272, South Hill, Va.  23970 or the Emmanuel Bible Institute (India Ministry) c/o Mecklenburg Community Baptist Church, PO Box 359 South Hill, VA 23970. Checks can be written to MCBC with Emmanuel Bible Institute on the subject line.  Online condolences may be made at www.wmsfhva.com.

Clinton, Trump Win in Virginia

By Diana DiGangi, James Miessler, Matt Chaney and Margaret Carmel, Capital News Service

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton trounced Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Virginia’s Democratic presidential primary election on Tuesday, and billionaire businessman Donald Trump narrowly defeated Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the Republican contest.

With almost all precincts reporting, Clinton received more than 64 percent of the 780,000 votes cast in the Democratic primary. Sanders got 35 percent.

More than 1 million Virginians voted in the Republican primary. Trump got nearly 35 percent of the votes, followed by Rubio at almost 32 percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at about 17 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at about 9 percent.

Interviews at polling places in Richmond underscored the issues and other factors that motivated voters to support or oppose certain candidates.

Young and old voters turned out in droves at the Randolph Community Center polling place (Precinct 504), about 10 minutes from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Monroe Park campus. Several voters cited fear of a Trump nomination as their reason for coming out to vote.

“Honestly, as a woman, I’m terrified of Donald Trump or Ted Cruz becoming president,” said Kirsten Schlegel, a VCU senior who voted for Clinton. “I’m terrified of our rights being taken away.”

Paula Johnson voted for Clinton as well, and said it was important to her to “select someone who’s going to represent us well, like when it comes to picking the new Supreme Court justice.”

At the Dominion Place polling station (Precinct 206), also near the VCU campus, many young people supported Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist.

“It’s my first time being able to vote, and so I wanted to come out because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Brianna Frontuto, a VCU student, said. “I voted for Bernie Sanders because his policy platform lines up exactly with what I believe in. He’s defending students, and that’s hard to find in candidates.”

Among Republican voters at the Dominion Place, several young people came out in support of Rubio.

“Rubio is the only one I feel morally conscious to support,” Adam Stynchula said. “He’s a safe bet.”

Voters at the Tabernacle Baptist Church polling location (Precinct 208) voiced similar sentiments.

Chelsea, a woman in her 20s who declined to give her last name, said, “I voted for Marco Rubio because he’s a very optimistic candidate. He’s very articulate about a lot of values that I believe in and I hate Donald Trump. And so, I really wanted to get my voice out there for a positive candidate who has a real vision for America’s future.”

Some voters said they usually cast ballots in the Democratic primary, but they participated in this year’s Republican election because of their dislike for Trump.

“I normally vote Democratic, but I actually voted Republican in this because I wanted to make sure that Donald Trump is not on the ballot,” said a student named Jamie. “I just think it’s kind of tight this year with the way things are playing out ... At first I started out thinking, that’s kind of a joke, Donald Trump. But now it’s looking close.”

Statewide, however, Trump topped Rubio by winning Hampton Roads and the southern and southwestern parts of the state.

Virginia Republican leaders gathered in Old Town Alexandria just outside of the nation’s capital as the votes rolled in. As a battleground state that has voted blue in the last two election cycles, all eyes are on Virginia.

“Republicans cannot win the White House without winning Virginia,” said John Whitbeck, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. “We’re looking at how our candidates performed tonight to see how they turned out voters, what the enthusiasm is, and what their ground game looks like. We’re going to have to fight to win Virginia.”

Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, who made a stab at running for president himself, said this election will set the tone that the Republican Party will take moving forward.

“The leading candidates are going to have to demonstrate to the American people that they can govern,” Gilmore said. “Or maybe not. Maybe this year they’ll just have to demonstrate that they can be a voice for anger or resentment.”

Regardless of how they voted, many Virginians said it’s important for people to exercise their voice at the ballot box.

“Honestly, it’s just every vote counts,” VCU student Sean Barnett said at the Dominion Place polling station. “People think that because so many people are voting at one time that your vote is insignificant because it’s such a small percentage. If everyone’s thinking that, there’s a lot of people that aren’t getting their voice heard. It does seem insignificant, but it does count.”

At Tabernacle Baptist Church, Kyle, a doctor in her early 30s, said, “I don’t think you can complain unless you pick a choice.”

After casting his vote at Dominion Place, William Smith added, “It’s a privilege and a pleasure. I feel it’s my duty as an American.”

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Primary

By Rachel Beatrice, Capital News Service

I personally sent for an absentee ballot for the Virginia primary election. However, I quickly became ambivalent. I have to have a witness? Wait … can this witness be anyone?

Then came the paranoia: Will my ballot actually arrive at the election office on time, or even at all? Will my vote actually count?

The pressure was too much. I had to vote in person.

The instructions clearly stated that if I changed my mind and wished to vote in person, I could still do so as long as I did not open envelope A – the actual casting of my ballot.

I followed the instructions for when one changes their mind.

On Tuesday morning – Election Day – I was in line at the Earlysville Fire Department, at 283 Reas Ford Road in Albemarle County, ready to vote. I had my absentee envelope ballot in hand and unopened.

“State your name and address,” the woman declared.

I did so as I handed her the envelope and explained the situation.

She nodded and smiled and said I needed to speak to the chief election official.

I sat in a chair next to another voter who had his back to me. The chief was next to him on the phone. Another woman was on the other side of the chief.

I asked myself, are they both waiting for the chief?

This seemed to be taking longer than I expected. Much longer. And I needed to get back to Richmond and to class.

After about 10 minutes, I asked, “Excuse me, what exactly is happening here?”

The chief muttered something, half-glanced at me, then got back on the phone. This time it was about my voting, or lack of voting, situation.

I quickly realized that the chief election official at the Albemarle County District 5 polling office had no idea what he was doing.

Neither did three other election officials who were present. “Maybe it’s this bottom,” one official asked the other –referring to the computer screen in front of them. Apparently, according to their computer, I had already cast a ballot.

“Will that vote count then?” I asked.

“No.”

I have to admit that I did not maintain complete composure. It had been 20 minutes.

The election official told me to calm down and that he was trying to figure out the situation.

“People face disenfranchisement in this country, and this is starting to border on that,” I told him.

By this time, another woman at the polling station also was denied the right to vote and asked to sit where I was sitting.

Is this the twilight zone? I asked myself.

The election officials were smiling and not really concerned that I am concerned that I may not get the chance to exercise my right to vote. It seemed that no one in the entire building could figure out a glitch in the computer matrix to allow me to actually cast my ballot in-person at this very moment.

After 30 minutes, the chief was more livid at the situation than I originally was. Turns out the tech guy was overwhelmed with calls and wasn’t available.

After 45 minutes, I was finally able to cast a provisional ballot and assured that it would count in the election results that day.

And the chief election official ended up hugging me.

It’s a happy ending to my voting nightmare, but many others are not as lucky. I just hope my vote counted.

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