City may add a polling place
Ward 4 candidate Charlie Frye Jr. wants Fredericksburg election officials to add another polling place in that district for this year because of the closure of Fall Hill Avenue.
The busy thoroughfare linking U.S. 1 to Central Park closed Feb. 12 so the bridge over the Rappahannock Canal and be replaced. Motorists are now detoured to Cowan Boulevard to get from one side of the canal to the other.
Ward 4 voters on the Central Park side of Fall Hill Avenue would have to take a 5-mile detour to get to their normal polling place at VFW Post 3103 at 2701 Princess Anne St.
The detour is expected to be in place through November, which means those voters could be impacted three times: the City Council races on May 6, a Republican primary on June 10, and the general election on Nov. 4 for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
“I’m just trying to ensure they have equal opportunity like everybody in every other ward to express their vote,” Frye said.
Frye submitted a letter to city election officials last month requesting the additional polling place.
The Fredericksburg Electoral Board scheduled a meeting at 10 a.m. today to consider the request, city Registrar Juanita Pitchford said.
She expects the Electoral Board to act this morning and said its decision will then be forwarded to the Virginia Board of Elections. It must sign off on the temporary polling place, Pitchford said.
On May 6, city voters will have the opportunity to vote for candidates in all four Fredericksburg wards.
Frye is challenging Councilwoman Bea Paolucci, who is in her first term.
Paolucci could not be reached for comment on Monday. Former Councilman Hashmel Turner Jr. dropped out of the Ward 4 race.
The other opposed race is in Ward 3, where Tim Duffy, assistant principal at Walker–Grant Middle School, and Richard Friesner, a planning commissioner, are vying for the seat currently held by Fred Howe.
Councilman Brad Ellis is running unopposed in Ward 1.
Former Councilman William C. “Billy” Withers is running unopposed in Ward 2. Current Councilman George Solley is not seeking re-election.
The four current ward representatives on the School Board are all running unopposed.
Ward 4 currently has two polling places—the VFW hall and New City Fellowship Church near the downtown train station.
Ward 4 stretches from Celebrate Virginia South through downtown and along Dixon Street.
Ward 1 covers the area of the city mostly west of U.S. 1. Ward 2 includes the area surrounding the Dorothy Hart Community Center.
Ward 3 covers the area mostly east of U.S. 1 except for the areas south of State Route 3.
Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972
The Fredericksburg Democratic Committee will host a City Council candidate forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Community Room
of The Free Lance–Star, 616 Amelia St. The meeting is open to the public.
Here are the candidates for the May 6 election in Fredericksburg:
Ward 1: Brad C. Ellis, incumbent
Ward 2: William C. “Billy” Withers
Ward 3: Tim P. Duffy and Richard Friesner
Ward 4: Charlie L. “Chuck” Frye Jr. and Beatrice R. “Bea” Paolucci, incumbent.
Ward 1: Elizabeth R. Rehm
Ward 2: Barbara A. Miller–Richards
Ward 3: Jannan W. Holmes
Ward 4: Malvina Rollins Kay
CITY POLLING PLACES
Here are the current polling places for Fredericksburg voters. The city Electoral Board will consider adding a third one for Ward 4 voters for this year.
Ward 1: Precinct 101: Hugh Mercer Elementary School, 2100 Cowan Blvd.
Ward 2: Precinct 201: Dorothy Hart Community Center, 408 Canal St.
Ward 3: Precinct 301: Walker–Grant Middle School, 1 Learning Lane, Home Economics Room
Ward 4: Precinct 401: New City Fellowship Church, 200 Prince Edward St.
Precinct 402: VFW Post 3103, 2701 Princess Anne St.