Local Commentary

Senator Dick Saslaw’s Richmond Report

The Nov. 5 election for state and local representatives is now entering the homestretch. With the political landscape being what it is in Northern Virginia, most of the seats for the House of Delegates and Senate in the region are uncontested in the general election. However, there are a handful of highly-contested seats that will be decided by who votes. I can’t stress enough how very important it is that we encourage people to get to the polls and participate in this “off, off” election year.

The deadline to register to vote or update an existing registration (change of address, etc.) is Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. Absentee ballots must be requested by Oct. 29. And the deadline to vote in-person absentee is Saturday, Nov. 2. In Virginia, we have taken baby steps toward improving voter performance. There is now a litany of legitimate reasons voters can provide to justify an absentee ballot. These include, but are not limited to:

• Student attending college or university outside of locality of residence in Virginia

• Business outside County/City of residence on Election Day

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• Personal business or vacation outside County/City of residence on Election Day

• First responder

• Disability or illness or primary caretaker for the disabled or sick

• Pregnancy

• Religious obligation

I believe it is time to move toward no excuse absentee voting. Removing barriers to facilitate more voter participation is one of my goals for majority leadership in the statehouse come 2020.

I am grateful for your support in the primary and the opportunity to continue working on the important issues that matter most to Virginians. I have maintained a robust schedule of meetings on many issues that will be part of the 2020 legislative session. In the meantime, I am also working tirelessly to ensure a legislative body from all corners of the Commonwealth that will keep Virginians at the forefront of public policy. Thank you to so many out there who have knocked on doors, sent postcards, contributed financially, and joined me in selfless efforts to flip the majority in the Senate and House of Delegates. It is possible and we have the pathways to go forward. The environment, redistricting, gun violence prevention, and women’s rights are just a fraction of what we will tackle with new leadership come January.

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Thank you to so many out there who have knocked on doors, sent postcards, contributed financially, and joined me in selfless efforts to flip the majority in the Senate and House of Delegates. It is possible and we have the pathways to go forward. The environment, redistricting, gun violence prevention, and women’s rights are just a fraction of what we will tackle with new leadership come January.

I often try to restrain from “piling on” to what is the obvious. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the continued dismay we are subjected to from the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I don’t envy the task ahead of the House of Representatives and sincerely wish there was an alternative to the obvious. This is a test of the basic principles on which our nation was founded. The nation will come out of the process much stronger and be positioned to ensure the integrity of our electoral system.

Back to the upcoming November 5 election here in the Commonwealth, we have an opportunity to send a message to the country by voting for Democrats that what is going on in this White House is simply unacceptable. Make sure your voice is heard. I ask for your continued support of our federal representatives and once again, I ask for your vote on Nov. 5.

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