Today is Election Day

Today is Election Day

Today is election day in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This morning my wife and I will visit the polling place at the school where she teaches and cast our vote for the future of Virginia.

Election DayUnlike some other states the Commonwealth of Virginia votes on the so-called “off-years” rather than in the even years that feature federal elections. It makes sense. We have nothing like Presidential “coattails” or national issues to distract us from our mission to vote for the right officials to guide our localities and our state.

Today on election day, Virginians will elect county and city officials. We will also elect legislators for our House of Delegates and State Senate.

The Republican Party controls every state-wide office: governor, lieutenant governor and attorney-general. They’ll all be in office until 2013. The party also dominates the House of Delegates with 58 out of 100 seats. In the State Senate the Democrats hold a 22 to 18 edge.

The Republicans will try to pickup additional seats in the House to add to their majority. The State Senate is where the crucial battles will take place. If the Republicans pick up two seats they will control this body with the Lieutenant-Governor voting to break the tie.

In Virginia the local elections are very important. This is where key taxing and zoning decisions are made. In my county the big fight is over the construction of a highway bypass. In fact, it’s been debated for almost 20 years. The land was purchased a long time ago. It was paid for by federalVoters highway funds. The plans have been approved by the appropriate state departments.

The anti-bypass crowd has tried every means to stop the project and failed. They just won’t accept the will of the people. They’ve attempted court procedures but they can’t find a willing judge. They’ve tried lobbying through the media without success. Their last hope is to vote in two anti-bypass county supervisors.

This is as it should be because here in America the people decide. This is the fundamental basis of democracy. Voting is how we-the-people let our elected representatives know our vision for our town, county, state and country.

However, we-the-people has turned into some of the people. On average only 50 to 60% of eligible voters will cast a ballot on election day. My late father once told me that in order to complain you need to vote. It’s an interesting theory for voting on election day. I can’t recall him or my late mother missing an election day. My wife and I are the same way. We never miss an election. We vote on every election day.

Remember to vote today if your state or locality is having elections. Remember also that all politics is local and by voting you will do something that many people don’t get an opportunity to do.

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