How long is too long for the VEC?

BY: - May 25, 2023

By Lisa D. Dance The pandemic is “officially” over. But, like thousands of other people in Virginia, I’m still waiting to receive my full unemployment benefits from the pandemic. I’m lucky; I can cover my bills. I worry about the people who can’t pay theirs and have waited over a year for the unemployment benefits […]

A default on the U.S. debt would be far worse than a government shutdown. Here’s how.

BY: , , and - May 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — A U.S. default on its debt would have a significantly broader impact on federal operations, financial markets and the global economy than recent government shutdowns that have left ordinary Americans largely untouched. While the two have been confused frequently during debate over the debt limit, the federal government has had considerable practice with […]

Former Virginia elections commissioner Chris Piper named new head of VPAP

BY: - May 24, 2023

Chris Piper, a former Virginia elections commissioner with a long resume in state government, will be the next executive director of the Virginia Public Access Project, the nonprofit organization widely seen as an invaluable source of free information about Virginia politics. Piper, who served as the state’s top election administrator from 2018 to 2022, will […]

To curb crashes, Virginia installs more pedestrian beacons

BY: - May 24, 2023

In Central Virginia, multiple pedestrian fatalities – including the death of a Virginia Commonwealth University student  killed after a vehicle drove onto a sidewalk where he was walking a few weeks ago – have renewed efforts to reduce traffic crashes. City of Richmond leaders recently announced they are planning to install pedestrian hybrid beacons to […]

Lawyer who co-led Virginia’s ‘election integrity unit’ resigns from AG’s office

BY: - May 23, 2023

Joshua Lief, a lawyer who helped oversee the election integrity unit created by Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares, resigned from the office earlier this month, according to a Miyares spokeswoman. Lief resigned May 9 to “pursue other opportunities,” Miyares spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita said Tuesday. “The Election Integrity Unit remains a part of the Government Operations […]

A Republican lawmaker delivered doughnuts to teachers. Then came a political food fight

BY: - May 23, 2023

Earlier this month, Virginia Del. Amanda Batten, R-James City, bought almost 1,000 doughnuts and set out to give them to public school teachers working in her Williamsburg-area district. She marked the occasion with a Facebook post showing her carrying armfuls of doughnut boxes in a multi-school delivery that she said amounted to 996 doughnuts, or […]

Buckingham GOP withdraws fired registrar’s nomination for elections board

BY: - May 22, 2023

The leader of the Buckingham County Republican Committee has withdrawn the county’s recently fired interim registrar and his wife from the party’s list of three nominees for a vacant Republican position on the local elections board, a move that prompted a local judge to postpone an upcoming hearing on the matter. In an email to […]


Ranking candidates will improve Virginia’s primaries

BY: - May 19, 2023

By Robert Melvin Few things bring out the worst in people like political campaigns, and Virginians are bracing themselves for harsh elections between now and November, when all 140 seats of the General Assembly will be on the ballot. Next year’s legislature is already shaping up to be drastically different, with approximately one-third of incumbents […]

In FOIA case, Va. Supreme Court draws ‘bright line’ upholding open meetings

BY: - May 18, 2023

In a split opinion on transparency laws, the Supreme Court of Virginia on Thursday upheld a more expansive definition of what counts as a public meeting of government officials. The case, which centered on an impromptu meeting that took place in Prince William County to discuss local unrest in May 2020 after the police killing […]


Quitting multistate voter-data program plays into conspiracy theorists’ hands

BY: - May 18, 2023

It’s official: State elections administrators, following a path trod by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, have quaffed the MAGA Kool-Aid. Sadly, the sickly-sweet aftertaste will harm Virginians of all political stripes. Susan Beals, a Youngkin appointee as commissioner of the state Department of Elections, last week announced the commonwealth would leave the compact known as the […]

OneVirginia2021 Executive Director Brian Cannon speaks at a news conference on Feb. 12 in support of a constitutional amendment on redistricting reform. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Though critiques persist, many agree Virginia’s new political maps are ‘quite balanced’

BY: - May 17, 2023

When Brian Cannon and other advocates for reforming Virginia’s redistricting process were trying to come up with a name for their campaign to convince voters to support their cause, they settled on a generic but straightforward summary of what they were after. “The salient question you got asked was, ‘What are we actually telling Virginians […]

Rural electric co-ops to get $10.7B in USDA funds for clean energy grants, loans

BY: - May 17, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin to administer two loan and grant programs worth nearly $11 billion to boost clean energy systems in rural areas, administration officials said Tuesday. Congress approved the federal spending — $9.7 billion for a grant and loan program the department is calling the New Empowering Rural America program, or […]