Register to vote by October 15!

Virginia’s voter registration deadline is Tuesday, October 15, 2019. Go vote.elections.virginia.gov to begin the registration process or make sure you are up-to-date if you are already registered.

If you have a Virginia driver’s license or state ID card, you can register to vote completely online. If you are eligible but don’t have either of those cards, you can complete and print the application online and mail it in to your local or state election office.

Election day is November 5, 2019.

Local Candidate Forums coming mid-October

The League of Women Voters of the Williamsburg Area and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance Business Council invite the public to “Candidate Meet-and-Greets” for these candidates (listed alphabetically) in contested races.

Prepare for the forums with this list of candidates and offices from the Daily Press.

Wednesday, October 16, 7 pm, Williamsburg Regional Library, Scotland Street

  • Virginia Senate, District 3: Herb Jones (Dem) 
  • Virginia House of Delegates, District 93: Heather Cordasco (Rep) and (Mike Mullin (Dem)
  • Virginia House of Delegates, District 96: Amanda Batten (Rep) and Dr. Mark Downey (Dem)

Thursday, October 17, 7 pm, James City County Board of Supervisors Building F, Mounts Bay Road

  • Virginia Senate, District 3: Tommy Norment (Rep)
  • James City County Board of Supervisors, Roberts District: Trevor Herrin (Rep) and John McGlennon (Dem)
  • Sheriff: Sean Gormus (Ind), David Hardin (Rep) and Gerald Mitchell (Dem)

The first portion of the “Meet & Greet” will give each candidate an opportunity to provide a 3-5 minute statement about their qualifications, goals, priorities, issues of importance and other personal content. Ground rules: the audience will be asked to refrain from applauding or demonstrating support or nonsupport of all candidates during this segment. No campaign materials, buttons, signs, etc. will be allowed inside the building.

Following these statements, members of the public in the audience will have an informal and casual opportunity to speak with the individual candidates.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate.

Primary Election: June 11, 2019

If you are in the 96th District, you will have the opportunity to vote in a primary election June 11, 2019. The 96th District includes parts of James City County and York County. If you live in York County, check the Elections Department website to see if you are part of the 96th.

Primaries require you to choose between two members of the same party for who will be on the ballot in the November General election. You will need to choose either a Democratic or Republican party ballot when you vote – you can choose either, but only one.

Scroll down to see a gallery of the ballots for this election.

In James City County, only the following areas will participate in the primary (from the JCC Elections website).

ONLY the following precincts will participate in the June Primary. If your precinct is not listed, you do not have a primary election this year:

PrecinctVoting Location
Berkeley B 0102Clara Byrd Baker Elementary
Berkeley C 0103Matoaka Elementary
Jamestown B 0202JCC Recreation Center
Jamestown C 0203Upward Church
Jamestown D 0204King of Glory Lutheran Church
Powhatan A 0301Hornsby Middle School
Powhatan B 0302Lafayette High School
Powhatan C 0303Toano Middle School
Powhatan D 0304Warhill High School
Stonehouse A 0401Hickory Neck Episcopal Church
Stonehouse B 0402Norge Elementary School
Stonehouse C 0403Stonehouse Elementary School

General Assembly Results and Observations

Excerpted from a Voter Express article by Carol Noggle, Voter Protection Officer, State League of Virginia

Yes, it was a “wild” General Assembly session, as one newspaper headline stated. All sorts of unanticipated drama involving constitutional officers, but the legislative process continued with the LWV-VA and others in attendance. Observers could see during floor sessions some differences in the House and Senate culture, protocol and decorum, including somedebate obstruction. “Will the Gentleman yield?” “No, I will not yield.” Each side of House attempted to “hijack the rules.” Frequent Point of Personal Privilege (PPP) statements were very “pointed” from both sides on various bills including those regarding firearms in churches, ERA ratification, limiting the power of the Governor, changes to long-standing Rules, teaching Bible literature in the schools, and even on which June Tuesday to have the Primary elections. The House, with many subcommittees, affects the disposition of bills differently than the Senate. The House subcommittees have been described as “powerful gatekeepers” because a successful bill in the full Senate will fail in a House subcommittee that has only seven members.

What actually happened? Of 93 election related bills, 24 passed; among them:

• No-excuse absentee voting, though only for seven days.

• Absentee polling places will stay open properly for voters who are in line at 7pm.

• Preventing split precincts and establishing proper boundary lines advanced.

• Yet to be determined is whether or not voters will be considered “provisional” while waiting for verification of Social Security numbers.

• Improved ballot order to list candidates before the ballot questions will ensure that voters see the candidates first.

• Recount procedures for tied elections were clarified.

What didn’t pass?

• Requiring Voter Registration and information in Commonwealth high schools;

• Restoration of voting rights and voter registration information in regional jails; Extending the deadline for receipt of mail-in ballots;

• Allowing the Photo ID of a student enrolled at an out- of-state university;

• Extending the expiration time allowance for a DMV Photo ID;

• Most gun safety legislation including a “Red Flag” or Extreme Risk Protective Order bill;

• Ranked choice voting in local elections.

Environmental bills that passed included one on coal ash mitigation. Legislators prohibited any carbon dioxide cap-and-trade efforts by the Governor or a state agency. Regarding firearm safety, legislators rejected a “red flag” bill or Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) and a bill related to allowing firearms in churches. One successful opioid-related bill expanded who can possess and administer naloxone or other opioid antagonist, after completing training. Below are articles relating on the successful passage of a bipartisan commission on redistricting and inaction on the ERA. The redistricting bill, aimed at limiting gerrymandering, needs additional steps to be added as an amendment to the Constitution.

Come hear local representatives discuss the 2019 General Assembly

Come out and hear from your local representatives, Senators Tommy Norment and Monty Mason along with Delegates Brenda Pogge and Mike Mullin, about the legislature that was passed in the recent General Assembly session.

Coffee and networking will start at 8:30 a.m. on April 26 followed by the forum and a Q & A session at 9 a.m.  The event is free and open to the public, so be sure to register today and we’ll see you at the Williamsburg Library!

  • Date: 4/26/2019 
  • Time: 8:30 AM 
  • Location: Williamsburg Regional Library, 515 Scotland St. Williamsburg, VA 23185

The April 2019 newsletter is here, & we’ve been busy!

Mary Schilling, President
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

While it’s easy to get discouraged these days, there have been some positive signs of responsible engagement in the challenging issues of the day. Our League consistently was well represented at the weekly Women’s Legislative Roundtables during General Assembly. Each week also included opportunities to meet with our Delegates and Senators to advocate on legislation on which the we have League positions.

Don Shilling (left) and Mary Schilling & Bobbi Falquet (right) welcome former ambassadors Nancy Ely- Raphel and Thomas Pickering to Great Decisions on March 4. Career Ambassador Pickering, our speaker, served more than four decades as U.S. ambassador to Russia, India, Israel, El Salvador, Nigeria, Jordan and the United Nations, as well as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs—the third highest post in the State Department. His partner Ely-Raphael served as ambassador to Slovenia and legal affairs in the State Department.
Don Shilling (left) and Mary Schilling & Bobbi Falquet (right) welcome former ambassadors Nancy Ely- Raphel and Thomas Pickering to Great Decisions on March 4. Career Ambassador Pickering, our speaker, served more than four decades as U.S. ambassador. His partner Ely-Raphael served as ambassador to Slovenia.

The February/March Great Decisions lecture series was a huge success with outstanding speakers addressing eight of the thorniest and most critical issues in current foreign affairs. With approximately 270 in attendance each Tuesday morning, the signature program helps us reach out to the broader Williamsburg community.

William & Mary’s Students Demand Action group planned a full week of programs and events on gun violence prevention, culminating in a March to End Gun Violence at the Colonial Capitol Building on DoG Street on Saturday, March 23. The featured speaker at the rally was Rep. Elaine Luria, representing Virginia’s 2nd Congressional district. Our League Advocacy and Action program committee members have been hard at work examining Election Integrity issues and exploring initiatives in Civics Education in the public schools. As part of the Gun Violence Prevention initiative, Christine Payne has invited Lori Haas, Virginia Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence to speak on Monday, May 13 at 7 pm at Stryker Building. I urge you and interested friends to attend.

While these programs and events may seem modest, this is what democracy looks like.

We are excited about the upcoming LWVVA Biennial Convention in Norfolk, May 17- 19. Our thanks to Anne Smith, vice president for programs on the State Board and a member of our own Board, for her masterful job in developing a substantive convention program. The speakers’ and session topics are timely: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Election Security and Integrity; Redistricting; Defending Democracy; Women’s Issues-Sexual Harassment. While these programs and events may seem modest, this is what democracy looks like. Remember, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” You can make a difference.

read the full newsletter

Members: join us at the June 7, 2018 Annual Meeting!

by Phoebe Kent, The Voter Co-Editor

Members at the W&M homecoming paradeCome join us from 4:30-6:30 pm at Legacy Hall in New Town for a lively, interesting Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 7. In addition to the opportunity to converse with fellow members, the meeting features Kelly Thomasson, Governor Northam’s Secretary of Administration, who will share her insights with us. Her responsibilities are many: management of clemency petitions, restoration of civil rights, extraditions, authentication of documents and commissioning of Notary Publics.

Kelly is a graduate of Lead Virginia, a statewide leadership program that gives a select group of professionals the opportunity to learn about regional differences and statewide needs, creating a nonpartisan network of informed, active leaders with a shared vision for the Commonwealth’s future. She currently serves on the Lead Virginia Board of Directors. She was named to Top 40 Under 40 by Style Weekly in 2017.

We will also conduct our formal business – hearing a report from President Mary Schilling, voting for new officers, and approving a budget for 2018-2019. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be available. We hope to see you there.

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