ELECTIONS AND VOTING

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 […]

Sweeping voting rights package passes U.S. House

BY: - March 4, 2021

The House passed sweeping voting rights, redistricting, campaign finance and ethics reform, late Wednesday night along party lines in a 220 to 210 vote, but the historic package will face an uphill battle in the Senate as no Republicans currently support the bill. Even though Democrats control Congress and the White House, their slim majority […]

Virginia Senate punts on campaign finance bill, but lawmakers agree to study future reform

BY: - February 23, 2021

A proposal to make it illegal for Virginia politicians to use campaign funds to enrich themselves failed in the state Senate Tuesday, the latest sign of the legislature’s continuing wariness on campaign finance reform. Several senators said they agreed with the proposal generally, but insisted policymakers should take more time to study it before imposing […]

COMMENTARY

Trying to keep people away from the ballot box isn’t a winning strategy

BY: - February 17, 2021

Consider the following: A profligate prevaricator, the de facto capo of the Republican Party, spouted lie after lie in both the run-up to and after the 2020 presidential election. Donald Trump was abetted by craven acolytes who knew better, and conspiracy theorists — in public office both in Virginia and elsewhere — for whom facts […]

Va. House panel rejects bill to require more precise absentee voting data

BY: - February 16, 2021

After more than half of Virginians cast absentee ballots last year, officials won’t be required to change their vote-counting procedures this year to make sure those ballots are reflected in neighborhood-level election data. On Tuesday, a Democratic-led House of Delegates subcommittee rejected a bill that would have instructed local registrars to count absentee ballots by […]

After hectic 2020 election, Virginia might change the way absentee votes are counted

BY: - February 10, 2021

Despite lingering, and unfounded, fraud suspicions on the right, a recently issued state report called the 2020 election the “most safe, secure, and successful” in Virginia’s history. This year, the Democratic-led General Assembly has rejected several Republican proposals to tighten election laws, while preserving several policy changes lawmakers enacted last year on an emergency basis […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia can no longer abide a shadow citizenry

BY: - February 9, 2021

“Disenfranchisement is the harshest civil sanction imposed by a democratic society… Such a shadowy form of citizenship must not be imposed lightly.” – McLaughlin v. City of Canton, 947 F. Supp. 954, 971 (S.D. Miss. 1995).  By Jordan G. Sisco July 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Virginia’s 1971 constitutional revision. Since that time, the […]