Lovettsville Elementary during the 2019 election

Voters line up at Lovettsville Elementary in 2019.

A few long weeks ago, we praised Gov. Ralph Northam's plan to delay May's local elections until the General Election date in November. Adding the local elections to the ballots in November, we contend, all but ensures greater safety and freedom for the voters, and in the end it would lead to more robust turnout in the elections that most directly impact the lives of local residents.

What has happened in the weeks since the governor's proposal has been nothing short of an affront to the voters and the concept of representative government.

As of this writing, we are less than three weeks from the new election day, May 19. Northam (D) last week used his statutory authority to delay the elections two weeks without approval from the General Assembly, which narrowly defeated the governor's effort to delay until November. Two weeks is the longest Northam can postpone elections without consent from state lawmakers.

But there are a couple new twists, and the May 19 date – again, just a couple weeks off – is anything but final.

Some Loudoun towns have taken to petitioning the Supreme Court in hopes of postponing beyond May 19, and the General Assembly may still call a special session to further delay local elections, with a summer date the most bandied about.

The confusion, constant shifting and calculated politicking amounts to unadulterated disrespect toward the voters. Politicians are keeping their constituents dangling from a string, wondering when or if they should even bother heading to the polls or sending in absentee ballots.

We hear the concerns about delaying elections six months – we really do. We don't take lightly that a small number of people have already cast absentee ballots and that towns have incurred expenses in preparation for a May election. Indeed, it is distressing to have an office-holder – any office-holder – automatically serve months beyond the established term to which they were elected. That last point is our biggest hesitation in calling for November elections.

Yes, we understand those concerns. We just don't believe any of them outweigh the end goal: to have as many people as possible cast ballots in elections. That's something that would come with pushing the local races to November.

Thus far, a cohesive solution from the towns – not only in Loudoun, but across the commonwealth – has been elusive. This all-around failure from our elected leaders in offering a firm solution, presenting it and sticking with the plan is disappointing.

Short of a general consensus from all localities hosting upcoming elections on when those contests should be held, November remains the best option.

(34) comments

Rocket

These are my favorite articles. Everyone arguing why the party they support can do no wrong. Looking past what there party does to point out what the other party does. Here is fact, the government is not in it for you, they are in it for themselves, while technically they are public servants, they are far from it. Regardless of the party, they people will suffer, NOT the government. They will not take pay cuts, they will not cut staff and they will not be worried about what happens to you. What they will do is make laws that affect you and not them. You will be expected to take pay cuts, you will be expected to spread the wealth, you will be the ones expected to make the sacrifices. Please notice the little things, I have not been able to go to the barber, yet I have not seen one politician that needs a hair cut, I have not been able to use a dry cleaner, yet I notice the politicians looking very nice in their suits. I have not been able to go to a beach or a bar to get a drink and be with friends, yet politicians have been caught doing both while we stay at home. They want to make the rules and they want to call the shots, but they do not want to live by them, and they demonstrate time and time again that they don’t.

tolerantleft

Amerigirl, thanks for the civics lesson. I'm sure you agree the same rights apply to unborn.

amerigirl

What about the unborn of the pregnant women that have died from coronavirus?

pual mase

That’s your response to justify the mass killing of babies in the womb?

amerigirl

Oh please pual, abortion is legal, you could never get pregnant so you fell you can make those type of statements. So you want to take a woman's rights away? That was not a response, that was a question. Care to answer it?

pual mase

There have been plenty of immoral practices that were legal and now we look on as abhorrent.......slavery for one.

And last time I checked it takes two to make a baby.

Justify how it is moral to take away a baby’s right to live........for a women’s convenience.

amerigirl

Pual, justify being forced to carry a bay after yu have been raed. You guys always want the woman to have the baby but as soon as it's born you say she should be completely responsible for raising it. If she knows that she won't be able to feed it or finds that there are severe malformations that she can't pay to maintain its heath who would be there to help her. Very hypocritical to say take the burden but you are on your own.

amerigirl

Again, you are not under a section so, what are you talking about? Big difference, there are time limits on when you can have an abortion, in Virginia it is 19 weeks. If it is an unwanted pregnancy it has to be done by then. I'm asking about someone who was almost 6 mo. pregnant with her 3rd child when she succumbed to the virus. Yes they have rights after the 19th week of pregnancy.

LetsBreal

Northam wants to hold off the election until people are back at work. Otherwise, you might get a real eye opener on how working folks would choose. His constituency would get clobbered.

amerigirl

That's your conspiracy theory, not fact. You know it is because of the virus. And how would that change voter turnout?

pual mase

I see the Dems using the virus as an excuse partisan politics every day. See Jim Clyburn, Hillary Clinton, AO Cortez and Pelosi’s words and actions over the last couple of months.

Can’t trust any of these dem misfits.

amerigirl

pual, just because you don't like what they saud doesn't make it partisan politics. Partisan politics is like when trump calls the virus a democratic hoax.

pual mase

AG you know the president referred to the dems using the pandemic response a hoax to attack him. He never referred to the pandemic as a hoax. I guess the LTM most conspicuous hoaxer can’t admit her lies.

amerigirl

Or you won't stand as much chance of getting sick. Think positive. Virginia is not going to turn red. If you look at the polls most people are worried about going back to work and opening up to soon. That is the majority.

Good Guy

Elections should proceed without further delay.

amerigirl

by mail

LetsBreal

In person. Make sure the democrats don't find infinite ballots at the last minute as they typically do. It's called the "Brenda Snipes Effect".

amerigirl

Lets, I'd be more worried about the problem that Republican's have with collecting absentee ballots like in the Mark Harris campaign in N. Carolina. Or Edward Barquet and Michelle who capitalize on a $4 bounty for each Republican voter successfully registered. Remember the election fraud committee trump set up with Kris Kobach and wouldn't give the dems on the commission have any info? What did they find?

LetsBreal

No, I'm more worried about democrat's constant attempts to register felons, non-citizens, and 16 year olds to vote. Your beloved party even wants prisoners to be able to vote from prison. But hey, on the bright side, voting from prison will probably at least be in person if you need some ammo to justify it. It's hilarious - if someone says NO to these ideas, democrats have fits and start throwing around accusations of "suppressing the vote". Yes, I'm suppressing the Boston Bomber's right to vote. Guilty as charged! (him and me)

Luckily, President Trump has put an end to the DNC's rigged game of venue shopping every idea that progressives want instituted to California's Ninth Circuit Court for a convenient rubber-stamped decision in favor of the left. Nope. That is finished!

There is no end to the democrat's constant attempts to grab power.

amerigirl

Lets.Tell me why you feel that felons should lose their right to vote? They are already being punished for a crime. If it wasn't a crime that was politically based they should have the right to vote. What has trump put an end to? It is not the dems that try the power grab, It's the repubs with their gerrymandering, undue restraints on voter ID's, control of the voting machines,etc. Look at the actual votes in states, in some they have been a much higher democratic votes but with all the gerrymandering the repubs hold the state. That is not what the forefathers had in mind.

LIfetimeLoudouner

Town elections have always been relatively free of partisan politics, they have been focused on the mundane stuff - water and sewer, downing, sidewalks, trash pickup. It has never been about who do you support for president or the direction of the country. The idea of the goal of elections is to have the most voters is not the best idea - our goal should be all voters who actually care about the town and are informed about the mundane. Putting town elections in November in a presidential election will generate more votes but not necessarily benefit the town. People who only vote because it is a presidential year don’t care about the town issues and will vote based solely partisan lines. That does not help the towns and never will.

marv

If customers can go into Costco, Walmart or Grocery Stores and once inside mill about at will, they can certainly go to a polling place and vote. In past years I have observed far more segregation at the poles and voting booths than presently exists in the aforementioned places.

LetsBreal

Reminds me of New Jersey, where they hold the school board elections the day AFTER national elections, so the citizenry is back at the office working and only the education establishment shows up to vote. LOL

amerigirl

Lets, where in NJ are you from? A 2012 law gives communities the option to change the date of the school board member elections from the third Tuesday in April to the General Election in November, not the day after.

btm11

There is an advantage to having local and state elections on a different year than federal elections. The newspaper's editorial aims to get more people to the polls, but not necessarily voters who have knowledge of the candidates or issues. It aims to getting more voters. That is not necessarily good for our democracy. Uninformed voters are not good for democracy.

Democracy requires voters who are informed about who and what they are casting ballots for. I'm of the opinion that a sizable portion of the electorate has meager or zero knowledge about for whom or what they are voting, particularly about members of the General Assembly. In states that include state and local elections on national Election Day, I am guessing voters get more information about national contests than local ones such as as Virginia's General Assembly. Virginia should try to have informed voters, not just maximum numbers of voters. Having state and local elections on the same day as federal elections may get more voters to the ballot but not necessarily voters who are knowledgable about for whom or what they are voting.

amerigirl

Why would you assume that voters are uninformed? If they made the trip there to vote I would definitely give them the benefit of the doubt. Even when my kids voted by mail from college they took the time to read about all the candidates. You base your whole comment on thinking that voters are stupid when they are not.

Chris McHale

I stopped at "we praised Governor Northam ". You lost me there.

gdj

Worst governor ever.

Oldbroad

NOT him, but his actually logical response. People are STILL not respecting this virus. The lackadaisical attitudes boggle my mind. If you don't care about you or your family, fine. But you are putting ME and others who do what's right at risk. Look at the idiots lined up at Home Depot! That paint is going to save your life! Good grief!

Elections are a Constitutional right, but so is being safe. There are many scenarios we've never envisioned, we muddle thru as best we can. Politicking should NOT be in the equation.

pual mase

I don't recall the right to "be safe" in the Constitution.

amerigirl

Pual, The Constitution states in the 5th and 14th Amendments, that the government shall not deprive anyone of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. Try reading the Declaration of Independence. People have certain Inalienable Rights including Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. All Men are created equal. Individuals have a civic duty to defend these rights for themselves and others. You could look at the Virginia Constitution, Section 1. Equality and rights of men.

That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

pual mase

What a thrilling, inspiring and wordy response that does not even refute my literal and somewhat sarcastic claim that the their is no constitutional right to safety.

Then again it is a common dem practice to invent, interpret and enforce so-called constitutional rights when it is convenient.

amerigirl

pual please practice you reading skills.

ace10

Steps into the trap. Gets leg torn off. Doesn't even notice. Eesh.

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