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Elections

Virginia Republicans Announce Election Review Panel

By Chelsea Jackson, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – In the wake of a tied contest and other issues in last fall’s elections, Republican leaders in the General Assembly announced Thursday that they will form a panel to address such situations at the polls in the future.

“There were numerous questions raised during the 2017 elections,” said House Speaker Kirk Cox, who made the announcement alongside Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment. “This subcommittee will have the ability to broadly review these questions and determine what, if any, steps should be taken.”

Cox and Norment said the joint subcommittee will deal with concerns such as absentee ballots, the assignment of voters in split precincts and recount law and procedures.

“These issues are not about who wins or loses elections but about the confidence of the public in our elections,” Norment said. “We never go through an election without a contentious result in a closely fought contest. Citizens expect us to protect and ensure the integrity of the process.”

The subcommittee will be co-chaired by two Republicans – Del. Mark Cole of Spotsylvania County and Sen. Jill Vogel of Fauquier County. Cole chairs the House Privileges and Elections Committee, and Vogel chairs the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee.

“We need to examine these issues comprehensively, using a process that takes all viewpoints into account,” Vogel said.

The announcement did not include how many Democrats would be on the subcommittee. Republicans hold a slim majority in both the House and Senate.

Some Democrats have their own ideas how to address the election issues. Backed by the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, Del. Marcia Price, D-Newport News, introduced a bill that called for a special election in the case of a tie vote.

A House subcommittee killed that proposal, HB 1581, on a 4-2 vote early Thursday morning. The panel was split along party lines, with Republicans in favoring of killing the measure and Democrats against.

Letter - Endorsing D. Keith Prince, Jr. for City Sheriff

Dear Editor-

As you know, Election Season is once again upon us.

The Democrats have a great ticket this year. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam for Governor, Justin Fairfax for Lt. Gov. and Mark Herring for Attorney General will all work to move Virginia forward. Delegate Roslyn Tyler, running unopposed, will once again represent the 75th District in the House of Delegates.

In addition to the Statewide Candidates and Delegate Tyler, the Emporia-Greensville Democrats have endorsed D. Keith Prince, Jr. in the race for City Sheriff, the only contested race for a Constitutional Office.

Keith has made saving taxpayers money a priority, and plans to pursue any and all grant opportunities to help fund the office of Emporia Sheriff, and is hopeful that the entire budget for the Sheriff’s Office can be funded with grants.

Keith has served both in the City Sheriff’s office and as an office of the Emporia Police Department and is an Emporia Native. In addition to his years of service, Keith has a good relationship with a very diverse group of citizens.

During his 20 years of law enforcement in this community, Keith has served on the Meherrin Drug Task Force – a multi-jurisdictional operation that covered the City of Emporia and the counties of Greensville, Southampton and Isle of Wight.

For six years, Keith served as Detective on the Drug Interdiction detail and was given the Public Service Award by Neil McBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Keith received this award for his service on an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force on a case that spanned from Cape Cod to Miami.

Keith’s service on this task force started with a traffic stop that resulted in the seizure of 9,000 Oxycodone pills. All-in-all, thirteen people were arrested and one million dollars worth of drugs, currency and vehicles were seized and multiple unsolved cases in South Florida are now closed.  Monies seized in the line of Keith’s duties have funded the purchase of nine fully equipped police vehicles and additional equipment for the Emporia Police Department.

Keith believes strongly in community involvement is the key to leadership, and his involvement in the community spans decades and includes service as a Board Member and Operations Officer for the Greensville County Rescue Squad and was voted the Squadsman of the Year for 1996. Keith currently serves on the Fundraising Committee for the Citizens United to Preserve the Greensville County Training School and is on the committee working to bring a Boy’s and Girl’s Club back to serve the youth of the City of Emporia and Greensville County.

Our committee invited both candidates in the race for City Sheriff to meet with us.  Both candidates were given the opportunity to speak and were asked questions from the members present.  The unanimous decision of the group was to endorse D. Keith Prince, Jr.

We feel that Keith will be a force for good in our community and live up to his campaign slogan – “committed to the community, dedicated to progress.”

Both the City and County have new voting machines this year. Both use paper ballots that are marked and fed into an optical scanner. These machines are extremely easy to use.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Polls are open from 6 am to 7 pm.  Don’t miss this opportunity to exercise your guaranteed American Right - VOTE.

See you at the polls.

George Morrison, Chairman

Emporia-Greensville Democratic Committee

Election Day Is November 7th, 2017

In case you have not seen all of the political advertisements on television over the last few weeks, there is an Election on Tuesday, November 7th, 2017.

This will be the first election using the new voting machines in both the City and County. The former direct entry voting machines were recently decertified by the State Board of Elections, forcing both localities to invest in more up-to-date technology.

While the voting machines are made by different companies, they work the same way.

Step one is to obtain your ballot. This works just the way it always has – give the Election Official your name and ID and they will give you a paper ballot, just as they did before the advent of electronic voting machines.

After you receive your ballot, you will mark it by filling in the oval beside the candidate you wish to vote for. You may or may not be given a pen to mark the ballot, but any black ball-point pen will work. According to one member of the Greensville County Electoral Board you will be given a Bic pen to mark your ballot.

Once your ballot is marked you will take it to the machine and feed it into the scanner, just like you used to do with the ballot box. Do not fold your ballot, but do follow the instructions from the Election Official when you feed your ballot into the machine.

That is it. You’re done, you can get your sticker to let people know that you voted and enjoy the rest of your day.

To prove how easy the process is, there is a video in this article. If you are really uncomfortable with the new process, you may take a family member of friend to help you vote

In addition to the video, there are also images of the Sample Ballots for both the City and the County. You may click on either one to get a PDF that you can print.

If you have any questions, need an absentee ballot, or wish to vote absentee in person, please call your General Registrar. In the City of Emporia, call Ashley Wall at (434)634-9533 or stop by the Municipal Building at 201 South Main Street (across the hall from the City Council Chamber). In the County, call Susan Conwell at (434)348-4228 or visit the Greensville County Government Center at 1781 Greensville County Circle (next to the Board of Supervisors meeting room on the south end of the building).

 

YouTube: 

Endorsed by Sanders, Perriello campaigns in Richmond

By Tyler Hammel, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – In his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor, Tom Perriello says he would make community college free, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and confront the Trump administration over its policies on immigration and other issues.

Perriello – who has won an endorsement from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders – discussed those topics Monday night at a town-hall style meeting at Virginia Union University in Richmond.

Promising to combat President Donald Trump’s administration and help create a “community of conscience,” the Charlottesville native received consistent applause from the crowd.

He touted his support of the Affordable Care Act when he served in the U.S. Congress in 2009-11. Trump, who succeeded Barrack Obama as president in January, has vowed to repeal and replace the ACA. Perriello gave credit to demonstrations such as the Women’s March on Washington for preventing that from happening.

“Five months ago, people could have curled up on the couch and cried, and I’m sure all of us did. But instead, people decided to say, ‘No, this isn’t who we are as a commonwealth; this is not something we are going to stand by passively and watch,’” Perriello said. “Because of these efforts, because of the marches, because of the protests, because of the stories, today the Affordable Care Act remains in place.”

Perriello also discussed his hope to provide free community college to Virginia residents, calling it a good investment. He said trickle-down economics – the notion that tax cuts for the wealthy will generate benefits for poorer people – doesn’t work.

“What the evidence does show you is when you actually increase wages and invest in people, then you do get growth locally, and more growth for small business,” Perriello said. “This is not something we’re doing out of the goodness of our hearts. We’re doing this because it’s a good investment strategy.”

A big part of Perriello’s speech was establishing himself as a viable candidate in the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Perriello announced his candidacy in January, when it appeared that Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam would be uncontested in seeking the nomination.

Perriello encouraged supporters to knock on doors and volunteer on his behalf to spread the word about his campaign. That was a critical strategy at the time: Only one in five Virginians even knew his name, according to a poll published in February by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.

Last week, a survey by the center showed that Perriello and Northam were tied: Each had support from 26 percent of Democratic-leaning voters; almost half of the people polled were undecided.

At the event at Virginia Union University, Perriello had few critical things to say about Northam. Instead, he mentioned issues on which the two candidates agreed – but Perriellosaid he was the first to take those positions.

“We came out and led the way on standing up for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. A few weeks later, we saw Ralph and others court that decision,” Perriello said. “Same thing with criminal justice reform and debt-free community college. I think what we need right now is someone who’s actually leading a policy agenda.”

Perriello echoes many of the positions that Sanders espoused during his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination last year. On Tuesday, Sanders issued a statement endorsing Perriello.

“We need to elect progressives at every level of government if we are going to beat back the dangerous agenda of the Trump Administration and its Republican allies,” the statement said. “Tom is committed to fighting the rigged economy and income inequality. He was the first major statewide candidate in Virginia to run on a $15 minimum wage and the first to say two years of community college should be tuition-free.”

Perriello will face off against Northam in the Democratic primary election on June 13. Northam has the support of outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe and most Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly and the state’s congressional delegation.

On the Republican side, three candidates are vying for the GOP nomination for governor: Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee; state Sen. Frank Wagner of Virginia Beach; and Corey Stewart, who chairs the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.

Mary Person Wins Second Term

Incumbent Mayor Mary L. Person has been re-elected for a second term. Only 48 votes separated her from her opponent, Marva Dunn.

In the only competitive City Council Race, Incumbent L. Dale Temple overcame the challenge from Marvin A "Cow" Harvell in a major landslide.

Two other City Council races were uncontested, Carol Mercer will serve 4 more years and James Saunders returns to City Council, replacing James Ewing, who decided not to seek re-election.

Both City and County voters (and the rest of the state) by voting heavily in favor of Hillary Clinton.

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision to undo the Gerrymandering of the General assembly in House District 3, J, Randy Forbes decided not to run. A. Donald McEachin and Michael Wade both survived the primary process. State Senator McEachin, by a wide margin, bested Michael Wade to serve the Fourth Congressional District in the US House of Representatives.

Full Ballot for County in November

While the majority of candidates will be running unopposed, there are a few competitive races on the ballot in the November General Election. 

Unopposed races included State Senator L. Louise Lucas and House of Delegates Member Roslyn Tyler, both Democrats.  Running unopposed for Constitutional Offices in Greensville County, Patricia Watson (Commonwealth's Attorney), Martha Swenson (Commissioner of the Revenue), and Pamela Lifsey (Treasurer).  This year's race will see competition for the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court as incumbent Bobby Wrenn will face opposition from Debra Brown.

The County Sheriff's race includes four candidates (five are listed in the chart from the State Board of Elections, as one is listed twice).  Timmy Jarratt will run as the incumbent in the wake of Sheriff Edward's recent retirement.  Also in the race for County Sheriff are Derrick Banks, Stephen King and former Sheriff Wyatt Lee.

Longtime Board of Supervisors Member James C. Vaughn is not standing for re-election this year, running for his District One seat are James Avent and Raymond Bryant.  Supervisor Margaret Lee from District Three will face competition from Keith Mitchell.  Fourth District Supervisor and Chairman Peggy Wiley is running unopposed as is the Supervisor Mike Ferguson from District Two.

Both James S. Ferguson and Anthony Gillus are running to be Directors of the Chowan Basin Soil and Water Conservation District.  Both are currently Directors for that board covering Greensville, Sussex and Southampton Counties.

All four people running for Greensville County School Board are running unopposed.  They are Bessie Ried, Danny Rook, Rhonda Jones Gilliam, and Christopher Vaughan.  School Board Members for the City of Emporia are still appointed by the City Council.

On the ballot for the City of Emporia are State Senator and Delegate and the shared Constitutional Offices of the Commonwealth's Attorney, County Sheriff and Clerk of the Circuit Court.

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