Elections

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Advocates say proposed changes to Virginia’s voter registration form will help prevent voter disenfranchisement and simplify the process.  But they’re not getting a warm reception from a number of state lawmakers and especially registrars.  With less than a month away before the State Board of Elections meets again, some are asking that the Board scrap the revisions and start anew.

www.jameswebb.com

It’s been about two weeks, since former Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb announced on his website that he’s running for president.

Presidential nominees used to be picked after countless votes by party leaders at smoke filled political conventions. Supporters of one candidate or another would twist arms and trade, say, a cabinet position for the support of an entire state’s votes.

There were some electoral upsets yesterday as Virginia voters in 48 localities cast their ballots in state and local primaries.  Among the most contested were 18 elections to nominate candidates for the General Assembly—including challenges to nine incumbent Senators and Delegates. 

Among the Republicans, Chesapeake Senator John Cosgrove and Augusta Senator Emmett Hanger handily won.  But long-time Chesterfield Senator Steve Martin was defeated by Amanda Chase. 

Democratic Senator Rosalyn Dance of Petersburg prevailed over Delegate Joe Preston.  

After the State Board of Elections in April decertified the touchscreen voting machines used in 20 percent of Virginia’s precincts, the localities with June primaries were left scrambling to find replacements for their WinVote equipment in time.  But a state elections official says one way or another, the voters there will be accommodated. While localities are implementing a variety of short-term fixes, the state is working on a more long-term, uniform solution.

Anne Marie Morgan

An interim study by the Virginia Department of Elections indicates that numerous localities have voting machines that are wearing out—and some have potential security problems.  The investigation was prompted by reports of irregularities during last November’s election. The result could be a new and costly requirement to replace some widely used touch-screen voting machines.

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