Category Archives: Electoral process

Cox First to Appeal for Second Choice Votes

Former Speaker Kirk Cox. (Photo credit: Roanoke Times.)

by Steve Haner

Former House Speaker Kirk Cox is the first of the GOP candidates for Governor to take the expected step of asking explicitly for second choice votes.

“Delegates, the Republican convention is fast approaching,” he says in new video message.

“The Republican nomination for Governor has been spirited. Look, I understand I might not be everyone’s first choice. If I’m not your first choice, I’d really appreciate you putting me down as your second.”   Continue reading

How Not to Build a Big Tent

Still working on that big tent

by James A. Bacon

American Jews belonging to the Reform and Conservative movements within Judaism back Democrats in overwhelming numbers. Ultra-Orthodox Jews skew strongly Republican. But there is a swing vote within U.S. Judaism: Modern Orthodox Jews. While a slim majority identify as Democrat, liberal or progressive, 37% describe themselves as Republican, conservative, or libertarian, according to Jacob Magid with The Times of Israel.

America’s 300,000 Modern Orthodox Jews comprise a swing vote. “You can’t assume a shul is completely Democrat or completely Republican,” Magid quotes  Maharat Ruth Balinksy of the Ohev Shalom Modern Orthodox synagogue in Washington as saying. “It speaks to the general identity of Modern Orthodoxy, whose members find themselves in both the religious and secular worlds.”

It is incomprehensible to me that the Republican Party leaders setting up the rules for the May 8 nominating convention spurned a pleas by four rabbis to let Orthodox Jews, Seventh Day Adventists and others who observe the Saturday Sabbath vote absentee. Continue reading

GOP and Virginia Election Laws, Part II

Sunday “Souls to Polls” voting is legal in Virginia now? Impossible to predict which political party will benefit more from that.

by Steve Haner

With the 2021 General Assembly receding in the rear view mirror, the voting rules for this year’s Virginia elections are set. Republicans who are whining that the deck has been stacked against them are making a mistake. Every change the Democrats see as a benefit to them is of equal benefit to Republicans.  Continue reading

GOP and Virginia Election Laws, Part I

by Steve Haner

Let us elevate a discussion from the comment string to the main page:  Having examined Richard Hall-Sizemore’s offered examples of Virginia Republicans seeking to discourage voting in Virginia, I reject his assertion (part of a coordinated national campaign) that those bills “would result in fewer people voting.”

The broadest Republican bill he pointed to, Senate Bill 1459 offered by Senate Minority Leader Thomas Norment, R-James City, basically returned voting rules to the situation in 2019.  It restored the requirement for photo identification, with the option of a provisional ballot.  With a provisional ballot allowed, how would that “result in fewer people voting?” Continue reading

How to Rig the Redistricting Process with Nobody Noticing

Prison population. Source: Virginia Public Access Project

by James A. Bacon

While Virginia Democrats continue to batter Republicans with charges of “voter suppression,” they also continue to rig the electoral system to favor Democrats.

The national Census counts incarcerated persons at the correctional facilities where they are held. But a new Virginia law requires the state Redistricting Commission to assign prison inmates to their last known residential address, a move that will, in the words of the Virginia Public Access Project, “transfer political clout from rural to urban areas.” Unstated is the fact that it will also transfer political clout from Republican areas to Democratic areas.

The residence of an estimated 20,000 prisoners will be affected. Continue reading

Voter Suppression? Who? Us?

Click for more legible image.

Here’s what’s happening in Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial fund-raising fever dreams:

Republican candidate Pete [Snyder] announced his campaign is launching a Trump-style voter suppression operation. … And they’re hiring Trump-lackey Ken Cuccinelli to run it. … Pete Snyder is tapping Ken to run the same kind of racist, anti-democratic voter suppression operation Donald Trump ran.

And here’s what’s actually happening in the real world. From The Washington Free Beacon:

Virginia’s Department of Elections shut down its voter information portal for “scheduled maintenance” during the final day Republican voters in the commonwealth’s largest county were able to register for the party’s upcoming convention.

Continue reading

Virginia Democrats Govern in the Service of Dogma and Power

by James C. Sherlock

Karl Marx

Socialism and communism are so 19th and 20th centuries.  

Under socialism, individuals would still own property. But industrial production, which was the chief means of generating wealth, was to be communally owned and managed by a democratically elected government.

Socialists sought change and reform, but sought to make those changes through democratic processes within the existing social and political structure, not to overthrow that structure.  Socialism was to be based on the consent of the governed. Communism sought the elimination of personal property and the violent overthrow of existing social and political structures.

So what has changed for today’s progressives who have taken over the Democratic party, especially in Virginia? 

A lot. Continue reading

Remember the 38th!

T. Travis Hackworth

Congratulations to the citizens of the 38th state senatorial district — you have been re-enfranchised. Republican T. Travis Hackworth handily won the special election to replace former Sen. Ben Chafin, who died in January, garnering 76% of the vote.

Better late than never, I suppose. But due to Governor Ralph Northam’s failure (or refusal) to schedule a special election immediately after Chafin’s death, Hackworth was not instated until after the 2021 General Assembly session, one of the most consequential of recent legislatures in years. Hacksworth’s absence gave Democrats a 21 to 18 margin in the Senate instead of a 20 to 19 margin, meaning that it took two middle-of-the-road Democrats to side with Republicans instead of one to block the Northam administration’s left-wing agenda. Continue reading

Candidate Suppression in Virginia

Screenshot from Chase attending the pro-Trump rally at the National Mall Jan. 6.

by James A. Bacon

Democrats coined a highly effective phrase, “voter suppression,” to describe Republican efforts to regulate the integrity of the voting process. Maybe it’s time Republicans popularized the phrase, “candidate suppression.”

Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, is a case in point. As the Republican Party of Virginia nears its nominating convention for statewide offices, Facebook appears to have permanently removed her official state Senate page, reports Virginia Business.

Let me be clear: I am not a Chase fan. But the fact that her rhetoric and behavior is objectionable to many (including me) does not cancel her right to run for office and express her views. Chase leads in polls of Republican Party candidates for governor. It is is not remotely acceptable that Facebook has shut down one of her most important means of communicating with voters. Continue reading

Progress! GOP Replaces FUBAR With Confusion

by Steve Haner

Virginia Republicans are finally beginning their nomination process for statewide candidates, graduating from the FUBAR phase of this exercise to a state of mere confusion.

It is not a primary, nor is it a traditional “under one roof” convention, nor even the proposed “everyone in one parking lot” convention. The process most closely resembles a party canvass or firehouse primary, with the added requirement that to vote in the canvass you must pre-register as a delegate.  Continue reading

Virginia GOP–The Party that Couldn’t Shoot Straight

By Dick Hall-Sizemore

The conservatives on this blog have been spending a great deal of time lamenting what the Democratic majority and progressives are doing to the state’s universities, public schools, and life in general. However, there has been very little mention of the Commonwealth’s other major political party.  Frankly, I do not blame them for doing everything they can to distract attention away from the Republicans. That party cannot agree even on how to select its candidates for the upcoming gubernatorial election.

First, there was the usual fight in the State Central Committee over whether to have a convention or a primary. As in prior years, the proponents for a convention won out. There was one major problem with that decision, however. There is a pandemic and a large convention would violate the prohibition of large gatherings. Of course, the party could probably ignore that Governor’s executive order and go ahead with a mass convention. I doubt if the police would try to shut them down. But, doing that would be a public relations disaster. Continue reading

Richmond Bigfoots Beach Elections

by Kerry Dougherty

They think they’re so clever. Richmond Democrats, that is.

They believe that by forcing Virginia Beach to adopt a ward voting system – without first bothering to find out what the people want – they can turn the city council blue.

What other reason could there possibly be for passing a bill — on a party-line vote — that appears to affect only one city in the commonwealth?

But not so fast, Democrats.

A ward system also favors underfunded grassroots candidates with devoted followers who are willing to invest shoe leather in a campaign. You know, tea party types. Careful what you wish for.

Let’s back up.

Continue reading

Baby Steps Toward Campaign Finance Reform

Del. Marcus Simon
Photo credit: Bob Brown/AP

By Dick Hall-Sizemore

Virginia law prohibits a candidate for public office from converting “excess” campaign funds to her personal use when closing out her campaign finance account. However, there is nothing to prevent a candidate from using campaign funds for personal, non-campaign related, purposes during a campaign.

Ever since his first General Assembly session (2014), Del. Marcus Simon, D-Falls Church, has introduced legislation to prohibit any personal use of campaign funds. Year after year, the bill died, with no recorded vote, until the 2019 session, when subcommittee votes were required to be recorded. That year, the bill died, 4-3, in subcommittee, with the four votes against it cast by Republicans. Last year, the bill was carried over again. Continue reading

Dems Spike Dead-People-Don’t-Vote Bill

by Kerry Dougherty

Every once in a while – not often, rarely in fact – you see a common sense bill in the General Assembly and think to yourself, “No one could oppose this.”

That was the case with SB1422, a measure introduced by Virginia Beach State Sen. Jen Kiggans. She calls it her “Election Accuracy Bill.”

I call it the “Dead-People-Don’t-Vote Bill.”

It was quite simple.

The bill would require the State Registrar of Vital Records to send the Department of Elections a weekly list of people over the age of 17 who died during the previous seven days. Currently, this list is transmitted monthly.

The bill would also require the voter registrars to use this information to purge the names of the deceased from the voter roles.

Keeping voter registration lists current and accurate is a good thing, no? Continue reading

Rigging the Election Rules — Legally

by James A. Bacon

First, we present this news item from the Roanoke Times, headlined, “Democrats push to preserve pandemic voting access measures.”

After the November election, legislators knew changes to Virginia’s election laws were in order. Democrats and Republicans had differing views of what those changes should be. Encouraged by a presidential election with high voter turnout, Democrats are working to codify many of the changes the state put into place for the pandemic that broadened ballot access. At the same time, they are chastising Republicans who want to roll back those changes on the basis of restoring “election integrity,” saying they shouldn’t cast doubt on voting measures that don’t contribute to widespread fraud. (My bold)

See what has happened? Democrats have moved the goalpost. Now election integrity is reason for concern only when there is “widespread” voting fraud. Presumably, the definition of “widespread” is a sufficient level of fraud to disconcert Democrats. The Trumpistas made “election integrity” a running gag line with claims that the presidential election was “stolen,” and Democrats are taking full advantage of insanity on the Right to push their agenda for loosening election rules. But just because election fraud didn’t rise to the level of altering the election in 2020 doesn’t mean that election integrity is a phony issue. Which brings us to this headlineContinue reading