Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s decision to quit Congress early is producing headaches back home, where elections officials worry that voters will be confused when they go to the polls on Nov. 4. The ballot will have two different races for the state’s 7th Congressional District — one a special election for a member to serve two months of a lame-duck session in Congress, and the other to elect someone for the 114th Congress starting in January. But both election lines likely will feature the same two men — Democrat Jack Trammell and Republican David Brat, who unseated Mr. Cantor in the June primary. In addition to what may look like double printing, the Libertarian Party candidate also argues the special election is “suspect at best” because signatures for third-party candidates to appear on the special ballot are due by Friday, leaving little time to collect the 1,000 names needed to earn a spot.
Constance Tyler, deputy registrar for Chesterfield County, said the process on Election Day will work like any other special election, but acknowledged seeing two sets of names will be difficult to handle for many. “It will be confusing for the voters, of course,” she said.
Henrico County registrar Mark Coakley said he’s planning on making 2-by-3-foot posters of what a proper sample ballot looks like to place at polling locations. “We have plenty of questions,” he said.
But voters who rely on absentee ballots, such as military members or people living overseas, would be left out of that particular remedy, he acknowledged.