ELECTIONS AND VOTING

Election officials begin $20-29M project to replace Virginia’s voter system

BY: - May 28, 2021

For years, local officials have been complaining that Virginia’s all-encompassing election software — which powers everything from voter registration to absentee ballots to list maintenance to transmission of results — is slow and hard to use. A 2018 report from state auditors verified those frustrations, concluding the Virginia Election and Registration Information System, or VERIS, […]

COMMENTARY

Strengthen democracy, break the deadlock on the For the People Act

BY: - May 19, 2021

By James “JJ” Minor With new laws attempting to restrict access to the ballotbox sweeping state legislatures nationwide, voting rights should be on the forefront of everyone’s mind. The transparency behind the motivation of those trying to make it harder for certain people to vote is palpable. And frankly, it is discriminatory and unacceptable. What’s […]

Senators deadlock on major U.S. elections bill in committee vote

BY: - May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday tackled a massive voting reforms bill in committee in a heated daylong debate. But the final vote on the bill by the Senate Rules Committee was a 9-9 tie, which means Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer likely would have to use a Senate procedure to bring the legislation to […]

Virginia elections board will ask prosecutor to investigate claims of irregularities during Richmond vote count

BY: - April 20, 2021

The State Board of Elections voted Tuesday to ask Richmond’s commonwealth’s attorney to look into Republican officials’ accusations that Democratic members of the Richmond Electoral Board may have violated state law by improperly opening sealed result envelopes on election night and completing the vote count at one board member’s home a few days later. The […]

COMMENTARY

It was past time for the Virginia Board of Elections to crack down on lax candidates

BY: - April 8, 2021

To hear some candidates tell it, a decision last week by the State Board of Elections is heavy-handed and reeks of political chicanery. The board’s move prevents a few Democratic Party challengers from getting on the primary ballot in contests for the House of Delegates this year.  The three-member board, these candidates claim, won’t provide […]

Voting rights advocates air worries about onslaught of new state election laws

BY: - April 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — A U.S. House elections panel on Thursday heard from witnesses about the need to craft a new formula that identifies which states or jurisdictions have problematic histories of racial discrimination when it comes to access to the ballot box. The hearing in the House Administration Committee’s elections subcommittee also served as a way […]

Stricter approach to late paperwork in Va. House races could end three Democratic primaries early

BY: - April 1, 2021

Apparently fed up with paperwork coming in late, Virginia’s State Board of Elections has refused to extend a key campaign filing deadline this year, potentially affecting eight candidates running for the House of Delegates. Three are Democrats looking to challenge incumbent lawmakers, meaning, if the decision stands, Dels. Luke Torian, D-Prince William, Betsy Carr, D-Richmond, […]

Audit overwhelmingly confirms Virginia’s election results

BY: - March 31, 2021

A statewide audit of Virginia’s 2020 election results verified President Joe Biden’s victory in the state, finding only a 0.00000065117 percent chance the state’s voting system could have produced an inaccurate outcome. “Election officials are over 99 percent confident in the reported outcome,” Karen Hoyt-Stewart, voting technology manager at the Virginia Department of Elections, told […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia sets an example on voting rights

BY: - March 24, 2021

Virginia is setting the pace for what a state should do to ensure a person’s race, color, or language aren’t barriers to exercise the ability to vote. It’s among the most cherished rights of citizenship in America.  Legislators in the General Assembly passed a bill — awaiting Gov. Ralph Northam’s expected signature — that, along […]

Virginia is set to become the first southern state with its own voting rights act. Here’s what it does:

BY: - March 12, 2021

When the federal Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, Virginia was one of nine states that drew special attention due to its history of racist election laws. That burden was lifted in 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided enough time had passed that Virginia and other states could stop following an old rule requiring […]

The Va. GOP’s 2021 convention is a mess. A new law might make them even harder in the future.

BY: - March 8, 2021

The Republican Party of Virginia’s attempts to plan a party-run, statewide nominating contest during a global pandemic have been so choppy it’s still unclear if the May 8 drive-up convention at Liberty University will happen as planned. And it might only get more complicated from here. Legislation passed by the General Assembly this year will […]

COMMENTARY
A storm passes over the Capitol. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Sept. 11, 2018)

It never seems to be the right time for campaign finance reform in Virginia

BY: - March 5, 2021

St. Augustine — who famously longed for chastity and continence, but not just yet — would recognize a similar spiritual conundrum in Virginia senators on campaign finance reform. Sure thing. Just not right now. Last month, in the waning days of the 2021 General Assembly session, the Senate, on a voice vote, (which means there […]