Voting

Reactions vary to a Democratic lawsuit challenging Virginia’s voter photo ID law—based primarily on which side of the political spectrum the stakeholders fall.  

Democrats argue that this is another attempt to disenfranchise minority and other voters, while the GOP and the law’s chief sponsor say it's designed to protect the integrity of the voting system. But political observers are wondering how this lawsuit will progress—and what's the best course of action for the state’s Democratic Attorney General.

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.

Hope Floats for end to Gerrymandering

Feb 8, 2015
Elkanah Tisdale

Bills to stop gerrymandering are enjoying an unusual bout of success in the General Assembly this year. While most pundits still think they'll get shot down, the head of a political training center thinks there's momentum for reform.

Ever since 1812, when Massachusetts governor Eldridge Gerry drew ridicule for his party's attempt to draw a district in the shape of a salamander, the practice has been seen as a scourge of democracy. But could Virginia end it? Bob Gibson, the director of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, hopes so.

Praises, tears, accolades, and stories of lives renewed are par for the course in a church setting.

But although the venue was a church in Richmond, the occasion was the long-awaited restoration of rights for three Virginians who are among the thousands who have— and will have—their rights restored by Governor McAuliffe.

Although the process is still not automatic, the governor has made it simpler.

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