Election Season: House of Delegates

Aug 26, 2013

The Virginia gubernatorial campaign has garnered most of the media attention this year.  But also on the ballot are elections for all 100 seats of the House of Delegates.

Fifty-seven seats are contested—compared to 37 in 2011. More seats also have major-party challenges this year.  State Election Lead Matthew Abell says the trend suggests more competitive House races in gubernatorial election years.

“In 2009, we had 54 contested races between the two major parties.  In 2011, we had 27 contested races between the Republican party and the Democratic party.  And now in 2013, we have 44 contested races between the two major parties.”

Libertarians, Independents, or Independent Greens will appear on 20 House ballots. Abell says statewide races can spur greater voter interest for the House.  But competitive Delegate or local races can also prompt higher turnout.

“Fifty-plus counties electing some local representative. All the cities are electing at least one constitutional officer.”

Some localities also have ballot questions, such as meals taxes.  Abell says the State Board of Elections website can show all voters the ballots tailored to their localities.