eNews: Action Alert – Jan. 18, 2021Monday, January 18, 2021 - 12:59pm
Oppose mandatory November local elections!
Senate Email Addresses:
Across Virginia, 44 percent of cities and 57 percent of towns hold their local elections in May, rather than November. These localities choose to separate their elections from those for state and federal offices for a variety of reasons – doing so keeps the focus of local elections on local issues and keeps the cost of campaigning more accessible for new candidates. The option to hold elections in May gives localities the flexibility they need to best meet the needs of their communities.
SB1157 (Spruill) proposes to mandate that all localities hold their elections in November.
The coincidence of local elections with those at the state and federal level inherently raises the level of partisanship of all elections, regardless of whether candidates are running without any party affiliation. By the same token, it introduces partisan politics to nonpartisan local issues; political parties make little difference when it comes to community projects like paving roads and keeping the streetlights on.
To that end, running local, state, and federal elections simultaneously makes it more difficult to keep voters informed. Media attention leading up to November becomes more focused on statewide and national issues, leaving less time and space for discussion of local candidates and issues. This also raises the cost of campaigning for local candidates – especially for candidates new to the field – who have to compete for name recognition from the bottom of an even longer ballot.
Contact your senator to join VML in opposing SB1157.
Forcing localities to combine local, state, and federal elections…