While Virginia leaders would like to call the Commonwealth the most veteran-friendly state, they’re acknowledging a major problem with the number of overseas, active-duty sailors, soldiers, Marines, and airmen who actually participate in local and national elections. And with thousands of Virginians deployed elsewhere, their absence at the polls could make a difference in election outcomes. State officials have analyzed why members of the military are not voting … and are launching an initiative to address those problems.
Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to suspend part of the Voting Rights Act, Virginia's General Assembly had already passed some revisions to state election law.
Although the Commonwealth IS one of the states that the Act had mandated for Justice Department pre-clearance, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli believes at least some of the bills passed earlier this year are necessary.
Lawmakers passed them with a goal of ensuring the integrity of elections.
Seventy nine people from 38 countries became U.S. citizens today, during the annual swearing in at the home of Thomas Jefferson. The event drew more than 3,000 people – in part because the featured speaker was a Grammy-winning rock star.
It was an exciting day for people who had waited years to become citizens, with some extra sparkle thanks to rock star and speaker Dave Matthews, who was born in South Africa and became a citizen in 1980.
Christopher Seaman, assistant professor of law at Washington and Lee University, provides background and context to this week's landmark Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act.
Seaman is the author of two journal articles on the Voting Rights Act, including "An Uncertain Future for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act: The Need for a Revised Bailout System," which was published in the Saint Louis University Public Law Review in 2010.