Virginia is For … Election Geeks?

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[Image courtesy of theprepperjournal]

States like Wisconsin and Kansas have been dominating the election news lately with stories about voter ID and eligibility, but last week Virginia had three stories coinciding to create an election geek news feast:

1. The state’s effort to identify and remove out of state voters resulted in an erroneous mailing to 125,000 voters raising questions about their eligibility. The letter –

informs the recipients that records show they may also be registered to vote in another state and that state law requires them to update or cancel their voter registration when they change residences.

“If you no longer consider the Virginia voter registration address printed below to be your address of residence, please help us keep the commonwealth’s voter registration rolls accurate by completing and returning the ‘request to cancel voter registration’ form at the bottom of this letter,” it says.

In an email sent to Virginia registrars Tuesday, Matthew Davis, chief information officer with the Department of Elections, said that the letters mistakenly went to individuals who have not moved out of state.

“The individuals had moved or updated their address with DMV, but the update was in-state and they should not have been included in the ‘What’s Your Status’ mailing,” Davis wrote.

Davis instructed registrars: “If you receive a call from a voter regarding this,” let them know that the letter was sent in error and then verify their current address.

2. Governor Terry McAuliffe continued the work of his predecessor and restored the voting rights of 2,500 nonviolent felons who have served their sentences:

McAuliffe has inherited his agenda of voting rights restoration from former Gov. Bob McDonnell, who had streamlined the process and with 8,013 during his term restored rights to more felons than any of his predecessors.

At the beginning of the 2013 General Assembly session, McDonnell unsuccessfully sought legislation that would have changed the state constitution to allow for automatic restoration of rights for nonviolent felons who have completed their terms. Subsequently, last summer he began to automatically restore the rights of nonviolent felons on an individual basis.

The action removed the application process for nonviolent felons. Once the administration verifies a nonviolent felon has paid his debt to society, the governor sends the individual a letter restoring his rights.

3. The resignation of of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has set up a situation that may require the state (and election officials) to hold two elections simultaneously this November: one to fill the remainder of Cantor’s term and a second for the Congressional session that begins in January:

A special election would allow for the winner to be sworn in right away or soon afterward, and then again in January for a new term.

“We all kind of have to go to the books, because this is the first time that anybody can recall the thought where you would basically have simultaneous elections,” said Charles E. Judd, chairman of the State Board of Elections.

“The question to me is, does that mean there will be two ballots? And I don’t have the answer. We need to dig into the code and see how that process would work,” Judd said Friday.

There is a lot of new in the Old Dominion these days … stay tuned!

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