Voting

Changes at the Polls

Oct 22, 2015

If it’s been a while since you voted, you may notice some changes this Election Day.  Most precincts in Virginia on November 3rd will be using a mix of new machines-and one old tradition to count your ballot.  

One way votes used to be collected can be seen inside a 7-foot-metal cabinet in a back room at the Roanoke Municipal Building.

On the shelves City Registrar of Voters Andrew Cochran has reams of 8 ½  x 11 paper ballots, each about as thick as an index card and costing 25 cents a piece.

Study or Skip? College Students on 10th District Senate Seat

Oct 21, 2015

With two weeks left before election day... candidates for Richmond’s contested 10th district Senate seat Tuesday night. It's a critical seat, but behind every student who follows local elections, there are a couple more who don't. 

The auditorium was almost full with students who clearly care about politics.

In the running: Democrat Dan Gecker, Republican Glen Sturtevant, Marleen Durfee, an independent and Carl Loser, a libertarian.

"These are the people who determine are laws, determine how high our college tuition is and things like that."   

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.

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