LWV-Williamsburg Area Fall Reception is today, September 19 at 4:30 p.m. at Legacy Hall in New Town.
Speaker: Chris Piper, Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner. Hear the latest on election integrity in Virginia.
Our program BEGINS promptly at 4:30 p.m., so please arrive a bit early.
Wine & Cheese Reception will follow. No cost. New and interested members welcome.
If you are coming, don’t forget to RSVP by clicking here.
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:
|Berkeley B 0102||Clara Byrd Baker Elementary|
|Berkeley C 0103||Matoaka Elementary|
|Jamestown B 0202||JCC Recreation Center|
|Jamestown C 0203||Upward Church|
|Jamestown D 0204||King of Glory Lutheran Church|
|Powhatan A 0301||Hornsby Middle School|
|Powhatan B 0302||Lafayette High School|
|Powhatan C 0303||Toano Middle School|
|Powhatan D 0304||Warhill High School|
|Stonehouse A 0401||Hickory Neck Episcopal Church|
|Stonehouse B 0402||Norge Elementary School|
|Stonehouse C 0403||Stonehouse Elementary School|
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.
Mary Ann Moxon, Public Relations/Outreach
Why do Americans choose to vote—or choose not to exercise that most basic right? And how do we as League members help to reduce the divide between voters and nonvoters?
Mediocre voter turnout has become the trend in America despite warnings that “democracy is not a spectator sport.” Voter turnout in the U.S. is among the lowest in the world, having declined sharply since 1900. Many people consciously choose to stay on the sidelines of democracy; others find formidable obstacles to exercising their right to vote.
Reasons are many: people say they are too busy, don’t like their choices or don’t know enough to vote. Many are focused on getting to work or paying their rent. In many states voter ID restrictions keep people from voting. Too many do not realize that midterm elections also carry enormous political stakes. For example, governors and state legislators elected this fall will determine redistricting decisions following the 2020 census.
Young first-time voters may show up at the polls on November 6. But many youth are suspicious of politicians and political parties – as are many other citizens. 1914 was the last time that more than half of eligible voters turned out for a midterm election. Only 33 percent of eligible voters voted in the 2014 midterms; among18-29-year-olds about 20 percent cast a ballot. Polls focused on “likely voters” predict that just 37 percent of young voters will vote in the upcoming midterms.
There is a “renaissance of political engagement” among some Americans experiencing a new civic spirit—calling their elected officials more often, marching in opposition to or in support of causes, donating money, running for office and joining organizations such as the League of Women Voters. Partisan and racial gerrymandering has energized many voters in Virginia and other states where voters are demanding that they pick their legislators, rather than legislators picking their voters through gerrymandered district lines.
The League of Women Voters, NAACP, numerous churches, campus groups like Vote21 and political parties have worked to register voters for the fall elections. On National Voter Registration Day, September 25, a record 800,000 new voters registered. But far surpassing that is the number of voters who have been purged from voting rolls in many states or barriers imposed to reduce participation at the polls.
So what can League members do to further our mission to Empower Voters and Defend Democracy? Encourage friends and family to be informed voters by seeking opportunities to hear directly from candidates. Promote the League’s online resource, Vote411.org, where voters can compare candidates’ responses to questions. Offer to assist in getting voters to the polls. Work to reduce onerous ID requirements. Long-term, support making Election Day a national holiday. And to those cynics, who believe that their one vote does not matter, remind them that a tie election in 2017 saw the Virginia House of Delegates majority determined by the drawing of a name.
You can vote absentee in person in your county’s voting office, or request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you. Scroll down to see where your county voting office is located.
City of Williamsburg:
James City County:
On June 15, 2018, ninety-nine local people became naturalized American citizens, and the Williamsburg League was on hand to register the new citizens to vote. We had twenty-five applications! A big congratulations to all the new citizens: we appreciate your hard work, dedication, and your contributions to our society.