Progressive group reports 21 percentage point increase in youth voter turnout in last year’s midterms

BY: - April 10, 2019

Forty-one percent of Virginia voters ages 18-35 voted in last year’s midterm elections, a 21 percentage point jump from the 2014 midterms. NextGen, a national progressive organization that works on voter outreach and registration, said in an analysis of the recently released voter file it registered more than 20,000 young voters last year on 25 […]


Former state board member was accused of ‘working for the opposition’ after raising concerns about pipeline construction damage

BY: - January 18, 2019

Visiting the Mountain Valley Pipeline construction corridor in southwest Virginia was a promise I made to  local residents while I was a member of the State Water Control Board. It was a promise that wasn’t kept until Jan. 2, when I toured many farms and residential lands impacted by the MVP construction activities. Unfortunately, it […]

Speaker of the House of Delegates, Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights, stands in the chamber. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

House of Delegates seat will be empty until February

BY: - January 15, 2019

The special elections to fill Virginia legislative seats continue. Speaker of the House Kirk Cox announced last week that the special election for House District 86 in Loudoun and Fairfax counties will be held Feb. 19, four days before the General Assembly session ends. “I want to give both parties ample time to choose a […]

‘At least light blue:’ Virginia’s new Democratic delegation is a sign of a changing state, observers say, but will the trend outlast Trump?

BY: - January 15, 2019

WASHINGTON — After the GOP’s trouncing in Virginia last November, Democrats and Republicans alike are declaring the long-purple state at least a light shade of blue. Virginia’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, sworn in last week, is the bluest it’s been since 1995, when the Republican Revolution swept out Democratic incumbents across the […]

Dave Brat lands deanship at Liberty

BY: - January 2, 2019

Liberty University in Lynchburg announced Wednesday it’s hired former U.S. Rep. Dave Brat to serve as dean of its business school. Brat, an economics professor famed for successfully defeating Eric Cantor back in 2014, lost in November to Democrat Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA agent. Falwell, an early and eager supporter of President Donald Trump, […]

A LOOK BACK: From the big election to potential changes to how we vote, a review of the Mercury’s 2018 political and government coverage

BY: - December 28, 2018

Editor’s note: The Virginia Mercury launched in July to provide a sustained focus on statewide issues that have fallen through the cracks as traditional news outlets shrink. Here’s part of a holiday-week series looking back on how we’ve spent our time since then. In 2018, national Democrats had their eye on recapturing the U.S. House […]

Was Election Day a ‘lot of mess’ or ‘relatively smooth?’ Depends who you ask.

BY: - November 19, 2018

At a State Board of Elections meeting Monday, Chris Piper, commissioner of the Department of Elections said this year’s midterm elections had “unprecedented” turnout and went “relatively smooth.” “We had a strong day,” Piper told the Board of Elections on Monday. “It was a huge turnout for a midterm election.” Early estimates have voter turnout […]

Voter registration through the DMV can be an imperfect process, one voter learns

BY: - November 13, 2018

When Emily McClure relocated to Virginia from Alabama, she was excited to vote in a state she considered purple. “I feel like my vote would matter more here,” she said. “I was excited to go to the polls and have my voice heard a little bit.” McClure found someone to watch her kids and went […]

Election season isn’t over for all Virginians

BY: - November 12, 2018

Midterms are over for Virginia voters, but there will be at least one more election before the end of the year for some. With Republican Del. Ben Cline’s win in the 6th Congressional District and state Sen. Jennifer Wexton’s win in the 10th, there are openings in the General Assembly, which reconvenes Jan. 9. Speaker […]

Tim Kaine and Ralph Northam won in 14 Republican-held state House and Senate districts

BY: - November 12, 2018

Virginia Democrats’ continued post-Trump electoral gains suggest Republicans face an uphill battle in next year’s General Assembly races as they campaign to maintain their razor-thin majorities in the state House and Senate. For two years running, Democrats’ top-of-the-ticket statewide candidates — Gov. Ralph Northam in 2017 and Sen. Tim Kaine on Tuesday – won a […]

A court order to keep polls open later on Election Day wasn’t followed, Republicans say

BY: - November 8, 2018

After a day of mishaps that slowed voters down by hours in Chesterfield County, a court order that was supposed to extend polling hours wasn’t carried out, Republicans say. “Election officials refused to let voters in despite a judge’s injunction,” a post on the Chesterfield County Republican Committee’s Facebook said on election night. “The registrar […]

It wasn’t just candidates on Tuesday’s ballots: The fate of local bonds, meals taxes and alcohol measures

BY: - November 7, 2018

Virginians voted to pass two constitutional amendments related to property tax relief in this year’s election, a decision that will affect the whole state. But there were also some notable local ballot measures that asked voters to decide on funding for traffic improvements in some of Northern Virginia’s fastest-growing areas and imposing local meals taxes […]