Graham Moomaw

Graham Moomaw

A veteran Virginia politics reporter, Graham grew up in Hillsville and Lynchburg, graduating from James Madison University and earning a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. Before joining the Mercury in 2019, he spent six years at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, most of that time covering the governor's office, the General Assembly and state politics. He also covered city hall and politics at The Daily Progress in Charlottesville.

Masks will be strongly encouraged at Virginia polling places, but not mandatory

By: - October 20, 2020

Virginia voters who show up on Election Day without a mask or visibly sick will be asked to put a mask on or cast their ballot outside the polling place, but they won’t be denied access if they refuse, according to state election officials. At a virtual media briefing Tuesday on the state’s plans for […]

Legislative panel votes to include incumbents’ addresses in 2021 redistricting data

By: - October 19, 2020

A joint General Assembly committee preparing for the 2021 redistricting process voted last week to include incumbent lawmakers’ home addresses in the data that will be used to redraw their districts. Some lawmakers insisted the move doesn’t necessarily mean the address data will be used to draw lines that protect incumbents. But dissenting legislators said […]

Political fight over redistricting delays eviction, utility cutoff protections in budget

By: and - October 16, 2020

NEWPORT NEWS — Cecelia Woodard gave a nervous glance down the road every time she heard a car approach. It was Tuesday morning and the sheriff was scheduled to arrive to evict her from the apartment she shares with her 64-year-old mother, who had left a few minutes earlier with a plan to donate plasma […]

‘A lot at stake for communities of color’: Race takes central role in redistricting fight

By: - October 15, 2020

When the Virginia House of Delegates was getting ready to pass its 2011 redistricting plan, Del. Jeion Ward, D-Hampton, stood to say something she knew her colleagues might not want to hear. Last in a series on the debate surrounding the redistricting reform amendment on Virginians’ ballots this fall. Previously: A sharp split on the role […]

‘Who do you think controls this?’ In redistricting reform battle, a sharp split on the role of legislators

By: - October 14, 2020

First in a two-part series on the debate surrounding the redistricting reform amendment on Virginians’ ballots this fall. Tomorrow: Race takes center stage in the war of words.  The group for it is called Fair Maps VA. The group against it is called Fair Districts VA. Both say they’re working to end gerrymandering, and both […]

Sliced cable causes Virginia IT systems to fail on last day to register to vote

By: - October 13, 2020

A severed fiber-optic cable near the state government’s Chesterfield County data center caused Virginia’s voter registration system and several other computerized functions to fail Tuesday morning, according to officials. The outage came on the last day to register to vote in Virginia, as officials and civic groups were putting out last-minute calls directing people to […]

Virginia Democrats’ redistricting fight spills into special session budget talks

By: - October 9, 2020

Last week, Virginia Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City, stood to try to extract a promise from Democratic leaders. Since the Senate was solidly behind the bipartisan redistricting commission voters will weigh in on next month, Norment asked, would Senate Democrats be willing to fight for it in budget negotiations with their counterparts in […]

Virginia State Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, arrives in the temporary Senate chambers at the Science Museum of Virginia prior to the start of the Senate session at the facility Tuesday Aug. 18, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Chase who has a doctors note excusing her from wearing a mask has been asked to hold a shield up to her face when entering and exiting the chamber.

Gun raffles benefiting political campaigns are illegal, Virginia AG says

By: - October 6, 2020

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has issued an official reminder that political campaigns cannot raise money through raffles and, if the prize happens to be a gun, raffle organizers have to conduct a background check before giving it to the winner. Gun raffles have become a regular feature among hard-right conservatives running for office in […]

Pro-gun localities accounted for nearly half of Virginia’s red flag orders in law’s first months

By: - October 6, 2020

In early July, Virginia Beach police officers responded to a call about a man threatening to shoot himself in the head in his ex-girlfriend’s driveway after she broke up with him. According to court documents, they found a loaded gun in his car. Less than a week later, they received a call about a man […]

How to make your vote count in Virginia

By: - October 5, 2020

Voting in Virginia was already changing even before COVID-19 arrived. The combination of a global pandemic and some major shifts in state election laws — ushered in after Democrats took control of the General Assembly — means that when Virginians cast their ballots this year, they can expect things to be a little different. Here’s […]

Va. Senate panel votes to keep public hearing rules for Confederate statue removals

By: - September 22, 2020

A proposal to eliminate the legal hoops Virginia cities and counties have to go through before taking down Confederate monuments failed in a state Senate committee Tuesday after several Democratic legislators said they were uncomfortable rewriting the law to make public hearings optional. The bill, which had already passed the House of Delegates, was presented […]

After losing the speaker’s gavel, Kirk Cox seemed done. Now he’s building a 2021 campaign.

By: - September 21, 2020

When Kirk Cox lost his Republican majority in his first and only term as speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, he seemed like a man who just wanted to avoid attention. He had survived his own race in a district that got much tougher for a Republican due to court-ordered redistricting. But with the […]