For voters in Virginia, it is hard to overstate how important it is to go out and vote next week. All Virginia voters will see statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, plus one delegate race. In addition, there are a few local races in Alexandria and Arlington, a bond question in Fairfax County and a referendum question about the housing authority in Arlington.
These off-year elections attract many fewer voters.
In 2008, 74.5 percent of Virginia’s registered voters turned out to vote in the presidential election. In 2009, the last time Virginians elected a governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and members of the House of Delegates, just 40.4 percent of registered voters came out to vote.
That is to say that 1.7 million voters went missing in the commonwealth.
Last November, more than 70 percent of Virginia’s registered voters turned out. Will this November see 40 percent or less? Choices at the statewide level could hardly be more stark, and low turnout will make the outcome unpredictable.
This week’s Connection includes what you need to know about the mechanics of voting and what is on the ballot.
Don’t be among the missing.
Voter Identification Rules Same as Last Year
Virginia’s existing voter ID requirements will change in July 2014. A law requiring photo identification at the polls was signed into law in May 2013, but this new photo identification requirement will not take effect until July 1, 2014.
When you arrive at your polling place, a voting official will verify that your name is on the registration list. Voters will be asked to present one valid form of identification this year when voting, any of the following: Virginia voter registration card; Virginia driver's license; military ID; any Federal, Virginia state or local government-issued ID; employer issued photo ID card; concealed handgun permit; valid Virginia student ID; current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck indicating the name and address of the voter; Social Security card.
On the Ballot 2013
Check what is on your ballot at http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/
House of Delegates 2013 Elections
Every Virginia voter will vote for delegate in the voter’s district. Delegates serve two-year terms.
District 34 — Incumbent Barbara Comstock (R) faces Kathleen Murphy (D)
District 35 — Incumbent Mark Keam (D) faces Leiann Leppin (R)
District 36 — Incumbent Ken Plum (D) is unopposed
District 37 — Incumbent David Bulova (D) faces Patrice Winter (R)
District 38 — Incumbent Kaye Kory (D) faces Jim Leslie (I)
District 39 — Incumbent Vivian Watts (D) faces Joe Bury (R)
District 40 — Incumbent Tim Hugo (R) faces Jerrold Foltz (D)
District 41 — Incumbent Eileen Filler-Corn (D) faces Fredy Burgos (R) and Christopher DeCarlo (I)
District 42 — Incumbent Dave Albo (R) faces Ed Deitsch (D)
District 43 — Incumbent Mark Sickles (D) faces Glenda Gail Parker (I)
District 44 — Incumbent Scott Surovell (D) faces Joe Glean (I)
District 45 — Incumbent Rob Krupicka (D) faces Jeff Engle (I)
District 46 — Incumbent Charniele Herring (D) is unopposed
District 47 — Incumbent Patrick Hope (D) faces Laura Delhomme (I)
District 48 — Incumbent Bob Brink (D) faces Laura Delhomme (I)
District 49 — Incumbent Alfonso Lopez (D) faces Terry Modglin (I)
District 53 — Marcus Simon (D) faces Brad Tidwell (R) and Anthony Tellez (L) to replace retiring Del. Jim Scott (D)
District 67 — Incumbent Jim Lemunyon (R) faces Hung Nguyen (D)
District 86 — Incumbent Tom Rust (R) faces Jennifer Boysko (D)
Fairfax County Sheriff’s Special Election To replace retiring Sheriff
School Bond Referendum
Fairfax County voters will be asked to vote Yes or No on the $250 million school bond question in the general election. The schools plan to use the money to:
Build two new elementary schools, one in the Richmond Highway area and one in the Bailey's area
Help renovate 22 schools including 17 elementary schools, two middle schools (Thoreau and Rocky Run) and three high schools (Langley, Herndon and Oakton)
Buy land for the South West County High School
Enhance the capacity of Westbriar Elementary and South Lakes High School
Replace or improve infrastructure, such as roofs, major mechanical systems and parking lots.
See http://www.fcps.edu/news/bond13.shtml for more details.
Local Ballot in Arlington
Arlington voters will also choose a member of the County Board and School Board, plus vote on a referendum question.
County Board: Incumbent Jay Fisette Jr. (D) faces Audrey R. Clement (G)
School Board: Incumbent James S. Lander is unopposed.
Question: Is there a need for the redevelopment and housing authority to be activated in Arlington County?
Local Ballot in Alexandria
Alexandria voters will also vote for Sheriff and Commonwealth’s Attorney, although Dana A. Lawhorne is unopposed for Sheriff and Bryan L. Porter is unopposed for Commonwealth’s Attorney.
From now until Saturday, Nov. 2, you can vote absentee in person for a variety of reasons, but you must sign a form affirming that you do qualify. Almost everyone with a job in Northern Virginia qualifies for one particular reason, however: your work plus commute time would be 11 hours or more between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day. Other reasons include planned travel, pregnancy, illness or disability, being a student out of area and more. Voters can also vote absentee by mail.
It’s worth looking at the absentee ballot application online before going to vote absentee in person: http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/Files/Forms/VoterForms/ABApplication.pdf.
In Fairfax County, you can vote at Fairfax County Governmental Center or any one of seven “satellite” voting locations.
Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 323, Fairfax, VA 22035. Saturday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, Now-Nov. 1, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
The satellite locations in Fairfax County are also open for absentee in person voting; Saturday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Monday-Friday through Nov. 1, 3:30-7 p.m.
Franconia Governmental Center, 6121 Franconia Road, Alexandria, VA 22310
Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Ave., McLean, VA 22101
North County Human Services Building, 1850 Cameron Glen Drive, Reston, VA 20190
West Springfield Governmental Center, 6140 Rolling Road, Springfield, VA 22152
Mason Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003
Mount Vernon Governmental Center, 2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria, VA 22306
Sully Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Boulevard, Chantilly, VA 20151
For more on voting absentee in Fairfax County, call 703-222-0776 or visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/absentee.htm.
In Arlington County, in-person absentee voting: Courthouse Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 320, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday through Nov. 1; Tuesday, Oct. 29, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 31, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 2, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
For more on voting absentee-in-person in Arlington County, visit http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/voterregistration/voterregistrationabsenteevoting.aspx.
In the City of Alexandria, Office of Voter Registration & Elections, 132 North Royal Street, Suite 100.
In-person absentee voting at the Voter Registration Office runs through Saturday, Nov. 2 at 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Extended hours at the Voter Registration Office:
Oct. 28, 29, 30 and 31, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.;
Nov. 1, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and Nov. 2, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Charles E. Beatley Jr. Central Library, 5005 Duke Street, Oct. 28, 29, 30 and 31, noon-8 p.m.; Nov. 1, noon-6 p.m., and Nov. 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
For more on absentee voting in Alexandria, visit http://alexandriava.gov/elections/info/default.aspx?id=1720.
State Board of Elections, 804-864-8901 Toll Free: 800-552-9745 FAX: 804-371-0194, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Voter_Information/Index.html
Alexandria Board of Elections, 703-746-4050, http://alexandriava.gov/Elections, 132 North Royal Street, Alexandria, 22314; FAX 703-838-6449; email email@example.com
Fairfax County Board of Elections, 703-222-0776, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/eb/, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, Suite 232, Fairfax, 22035; FAX 703-324-2205; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Arlington Board of Elections, 703-228-3456, http://www.arlingtonva.us/vote, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 320, Arlington, 22201; FAX 703-228-3659; email email@example.com
City of Fairfax General Registrar, 703-385-7890, http://www.fairfaxva.gov/Registrar/GeneralRegistrar.asp, 10455 Armstrong Street, Sisson House, Fairfax, 22030; FAX 703-591-8364; email firstname.lastname@example.org