Public Comments for: HB1109 - Elections; time of certain local elections.
Last Name: Dana Walker Locality: Loudoun

I am in favor of these bills to ensure honest and accurate election counts in the state of Virginia. This would include bills HB 1090, 1101, 1109, 121, 196,24,941,942,945,956 and HJ 65.

Last Name: Nicholls Locality: Chesapeake

Please move to report all these bills.

Last Name: Colbert Organization: Town of Vienna Locality: Vienna

Dear Delegates, The Town of Vienna requests that you approve SB 1109. With a population of 16,000, the town does a good job of educating its residents about its traditional May election. The date, time and location of the election is the same every year. We hold an election for Council and Mayor the first Tuesday in May at the Vienna Community Center. It is posted on the town’s website, on a banner across our main street and in the town newsletter that is mailed to every household. Residents are involved and enjoy discussing local issues. They are intelligent and know the difference between local and National issues but want to concentrate on local ones. The town charter states that council is non partisan and we would Like to keep it that way- I do not know of a Democrat or Republican sidewalk! Also, keeping elections in May will allow more people to run as November campaigns will be more expensive and will exclude some people from running. Our Mayor only receives $7500 and the Council $5000. Also, the Hatch Act will forbid many of our residents from running as they are government employees. Thank you for your consideration. This issue deserves to get out of Committee and out on the floor for debate. Thank you for all you do for Virginia.

Last Name: Larocco Locality: City of Salem

I would encourage members of this committee to consider the possibility of allowing localities to chose the option of local elections to be held in May, as opposed to lumping them together with state and/or national election cycles. HB. 1082 and HB 1109 would provide that option for localities. As a retired Virginia educator with 36 years experience as a Virginia and United States Government teacher, the idea of a "separation of elections" makes a great deal of sense. As citizens of our Commonwealth, we have always been proud of the fact that we give our state elections special emphasis by separating them from the national. That additional time allows for a more strategic focus of the Commonwealth's issues, giving her citizens time to focus on state needs instead of a national agenda. That same premise being used for local elections would make a great deal of sense. Overload of issues and candidates only serves to confuse the electorate. Simple straightforward presentation of the issues and the candidates for offices would encourage greater voter participation and involvement in the election. Local issues are the ones that affect voters most directly so it makes much more sense to allow local voters the chance to understand the candidates before them as well as the issues at hand. Longer "bedsheet" ballots will add to the costs of elections since more explanatory information will be required from the local and state board of elections. Just like the halls of Congress (and need I say the General Assembly), the more information you add to the process only muddied the waters. Voters will push back and not get involved in the electoral process because of the overwhelming nature of the beast. The old adage of keeping it simple and understandable really does work! Keep local elections separate, and just like the infamous "Field of Dreams", they will come!

Last Name: Gerchick Organization: League of Women Voters of Virginia Locality: Fauquier

Comments Document

The League of Women Voters submits comments, as follows: HB 895 - In support of risk-limiting audits, the best way to determine whether the reported outcome of an election is correct; HB 1082 and HB 1109 - In opposition to giving cities and towns the option to revert from November elections to May elections because it suppresses turnout; HB1262 - In opposition to turning nonpartisan races into partisan races because it increases divisiveness and takes the focus away from electing a candidate based purely on suitability and competence

Last Name: Mullins Locality: Loudoun, Leesburg

I am providing feedback on HB46, HB121, HB1109. HB1101. As a Virginia resident I am in favor of the following election integrity initiatives: voter ID with a photograph, against same-day voter registration, ballots should be received by the close of polls on election day, and repeal the permanent absentee voter list.

Last Name: Alley Locality: Albemarle County Earlysville Virginia

Comments Document

Dear Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Beth Alley

Last Name: Karp Organization: League of Women Voters and the citizens of Prince William County Locality: Haymarket

BOTH HJ9 and HB130. Privileges and Elections Committee Members, I urge the committee to vote in favor of the Right to Vote Amendment and the associated referendum bills: HJ9 and HB130. Passing the amendment places the responsibility for this important decision where it should be – with Virginia's voters during the 2022 elections. Thank you for your consideration. "I say to people today, 'You must be prepared if you believe in something. If you believe in something, you have to go for it. As individuals, we may not live to see the end." -- John Lewis "We have come a long way in America because of Martin Luther King, Jr. He led a disciplined, nonviolent revolution under the rule of law, a revolution of values, a revolution of ideas. We've come a long way, but we still have a distance to go before all of our citizens embrace the idea of a truly interracial democracy, what I like to call the Beloved Community, a nation at peace with itself." -- John Lewis Sincerely, Marilyn Karp BOTH HJ9 and HB130.

Last Name: Turk Organization: Mayor, City of Salem Locality: Salem

There is a multitude of reasons to have local elections in May, the most important being: • Having the clarity of local issues (in May) NOT mixed in with national or state problems (Nov.). • Turnout may be smaller, but those voting in May do so because they are informed of local issues and needs, and they educate themselves on the platforms of the local candidates. Better to have quality--informed citizens--then quantity (uninformed masses). • Local candidates' names (especially those running for the first time) don't get lost in the hubbub that occurs with state and federal candidates advertising for their elections at the same time as federal and state candidates. • Fairness to our citizens and quality of local government: In May, knowing who to vote for is not as overwhelming to citizens since there is not a multitude of offices to vote on, nor an overload of candidates to find out about. Referendums are clear and not lost in the overload of so many other items, candidates, etc., on the ballot. • The availability of resources and the cost of advertising are more affordable because candidates don't have to "compete" with state or federal candidates' money to be "remembered" on election day. It is a known fact in radio and TV advertising, that those that are willing to pay more for a "spot" will "bump" those paying less for their ad in that advertising time slot. And there are limited spots available in "prime time". • The hallmark of local elections is a non-partisan election. Just look at how poorly our federal government works across party lines, how they don't compromise, and how little they get done. Many party members don't vote for what's best for their constituents, they vote to gain a "win" for their party...we don't need that party vs. party fighting at the local level. May elections won't give an unfair advantage to political party candidates like November will, staying true to local government's current cooperation between members. Local party candidates would not get to ride the coat tails of state/federal party candidates at rallies, gatherings, fund raisers, etc., and independents would get equal exposure. • In some areas, for Presidential (Nov.) election years, candidates for offices in local governments will be listed on the back of the ballot--way too easy to miss, and a place none of us would want to be found. Having November Elections makes it all about the Party and means only the RICH could afford to run against candidates getting Party money--no one else could compete with the Party money, so only the rich would actually get into office. Having May elections is what is best for local government to run smoothly, effectively, and to best care for the citizens they serve.

Last Name: Martin Locality: Fairfax

This bill deletes the requirement that local elections be held on Election Day, including mayor, members of local governing bodies and school board members. Clearly intended to keep local elections from the highest voter turnout event, and obscure the local governing process. There’s literally no reason to change a standard Election Day vote for all offices, both local, state and National. It will place an undue burden on local election officials by requiring multiple dates to be organized, officiated, and counted. It will add costs to the election process by requiring additional ballots to be printed on non-standard election days and presents a hardship on voters who may not have easy transportation to polling locations multiple times a year, especially in rural areas. I oppose this bill.

Last Name: Marie Locality: ARLINGTON

Virginia enacted several new voting laws in 2020 and 2021 to make voting more accessible during the pandemic. Early in-person voting hours were increased, mail-in absentee ballots no longer required a witness signature, more drop-box locations were available. These changes led to record voter turnout (with insignificant fraud) in both the 2020 presidential election and the 2021 gubernatorial election. Therefore I oppose any new bill that would restrict our rights to accessible voting.

Last Name: Martin Locality: Fairfax

Voting is a constitutional right. Any law that restricts rather than expands our constitutional right & DUTY to vote is simply voter suppression. We must not repeal any expansions of absentee ballots. Do not decrease early voting. - extend the number of days allowed. Do not eliminate any ballot box locations- expand. We have no need to re-register absentee ballots every year. No excuse absentee voting is absolutely crucial. The state must provide easy and free access to voter ID if a photo is required. Since the USPS has slowed considerably, we must keep the 3 day rule for receiving ballots after election day. All local elections must be on Election Day (in Nov). Election Day should be a holiday. Until we do a complete overhaul of campaign finance & eliminate dark money/special interests there must be no restrictions on outreach, education & registration or from where a candidate may collect funds. Voter registration up to and including Election Day is absolutely crucial to ensure all citizens vote. I support all bills expanding our rights and abilities to make voting as easy as possible. I oppose all bills attempting to restrict any access to our ballot and our vote. The process is too important for the elected officials to be able to restrict us from our duty to be informed voters. Keep expanding our rights. Do not restrict, suppress or subvert them.

End of Comments