The Roanoke Times, in an editorial this morning, has a problem with this as well:
The Times goes on to recommend a number of fixes, most of which I agree with, one that would create a problem far worse than exists now ("Adopt no-reason-needed absentee voting or universal vote by mail").
Virginia elections need a face-lift
Only fundamental structural change will increase voter interest and participation.
Roanoke taxpayers spent about $36,000 on Tuesday's election, nearly $20 for each of the 1,914 votes cast. It is easy to blame poor turnout on voter apathy, but the problem runs more deeply to a system that no longer works for the modern electorate.
Primary elections in Virginia historically draw few voters, and with only a Democratic primary on Tuesday's ballot, low turnout surprised no one. Only about 3.5 percent of registered Roanoke voters showed up. The statewide rate was about the same.
If Virginia wants an engaged electorate, it must encourage participation. Representative government relies on people exercising their civic judgment, not minority participation that leaves political control in the hands of a dedicated, often partisan, few. (link)
But something surely needs to be done.
The Democratic nominee for the United States Senate received ONE vote in a voting precinct in the commonwealth of Virginia in 2006.