Election Day will be here before we know it and the key race in Virginia this election season is certainly heating up! Ed Gillespie is quickly gaining momentum and favor among voters in the final days leading up until the election. Mark Warner has had a difficult past few weeks and even his allies won’t let him run from his record.
President Obama came out just this week and said that although he may not be actively campaigning with Democratic Senate candidates, you can be sure that they all fully support his agenda. They say that past performance is the best predictor of future results. Given that Mark Warner has voted with the President 97% of the time, we can be certain the President’s statement applies to Senator Warner.
While Ed Gillespie is running on a strong positive message of support for policies that will create economic growth, he will need our help to get him across the finish long. It’s not too late to get involved with the campaign by going door to door, volunteering at our local headquarters or giving your time on Election Day.
I want to use this opportunity to provide you with some election related information that might be useful as you prepare to cast your vote. In addition, I also have a request that I hope you will consider to support a project at one of our local schools.
If you are going to be away on Election Day, it is not too late to vote absentee. You can vote in person absentee at your local registrar’s office during normal business hours. In addition, for the convenience of voters the registrar’s office will be open on Saturday, October 25 and Saturday, November 1 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm for in person absentee voting. You can also still vote absentee by mail, though you must act quickly. Tuesday, October 28, 2014 is the last day in which an absentee ballot can be mailed. If you have specific questions on voting absentee, either by mail or in person, I would encourage you to contact your registrar’s office. I have listed their contact information below.
For more information on absentee voting, please click here
Rockingham County Registrar: (540) 564-3055
Harrisonburg Registrar: (540) 432-7707
New Voter ID Requirements
It is important to note that effective July 1, 2014, a photo ID is now required for voting in Virginia. Voters must present one of the following acceptable forms of identification:
*Valid Virginia Driver’s License
*DMV-issued photo identification card *Other government-issued photo identification card
*Valid United States Passport *Valid college or university student photo identification card (issuer must be an institution of higher education located in Virginia)
*Valid Employee photo identification card
If you do not have an acceptable form of identification you can get a valid ID free of charge from your voter registration office.
For more information on the new photo ID requirement in Virginia, please click here.
Constitutional Amendment on the Ballot
As you may or ay not be aware, in addition to voting for our Senator and Congressman, all Virginians will also have the opportunity to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment.
The question on the ballot will be:
Shall Section 6-A of Article X (Taxation and Finance) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow the General Assembly to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any member of the armed forces of the United States who was killed in action, where the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence and has not remarried?
The proposed amendment would authorize the General Assembly to exempt from taxation the real property of any surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States who was killed in action, as determined by the U.S. Department of Defense. The exemption from taxation would cease if the surviving spouse remarries. The exemption would apply regardless of whether the spouse was killed in action prior to the effective date of this amendment but would apply only to those real property taxes to be paid on or after the effective date of legislation passed by the General Assembly. The exemption from taxation would apply to the surviving spouse’s principal place of residence, even if he or she moves to a new principal place of residence. The exemption would not require the surviving spouse to have been residing in the Commonwealth at the time his or her spouse was killed in action.
Legislation exercising the authority granted to the General Assembly in the proposed amendment was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor McAuliffe on April 7, 2014, but will become effective only upon approval by the voters of the proposed amendment.
As you may remember, in 2010 Virginians voted to amend the constitution to allow a property tax exemption to any veteran who has been determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to have a one hundred percent service-connected permanent and total disability. The amendment we will vote on this year would allow the General Assembly to extend that same property tax exemption to the surviving spouses of a veteran that was killed in action.
When I vote on November 4, I will be voting “yes” on this proposed amendment. I hope that you will review the information above and give the proposed amendment your full consideration. For more information on the amendment, including the complete language of the amendment, click here.
Help Turner Ashby Secure a $100,000 Grant!
As you might have read in the DNR recently, a grant proposal submitted by TA PE teacher Cindy Ferek has been selected as one of only three finalists for the East Coast to receive a $100,000 grant from Farmers Insurance to create a mile long paved trail around the school property! This paved trail would allow special needs students with physical disabilities to gain access to parts of the grounds that they might not be able to access otherwise. It would also be utilized as an innovative driver education instruction course. In addition, this trail would be open to the public at large.
Whichever proposal has the most votes from the public by November 30 will be selected as the recipient. Help Mrs. Ferek and TA by going to thankamillionteachers.com and voting for her proposal. You can vote every 24 hours and all you need to enter is a valid email address!