Making Democracy Work

A Voice for Citizens and a Force for Change in the United States

The League of Women Voters of Falls Church is a nonpartisan organization that serves the citizens of Falls Church City by encouraging informed and active participation in government, working to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influencing public policy through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters never supports or opposes candidates for office, or political parties. Any use of the League of Women Voters name in campaign advertising or literature has not been authorized by the League.

LEAGUE PRESENTS OCTOBER 26 PROGRAM ON THE INFLUENCE OF UNLMITED SPENDING IN ELECTION CAMPAIGNS

The League of Women Voters of Falls Church will present a program on Sunday, October 26, to examine the negative impact that unrestricted corporate and private campaign contributions are having on politics. The event, titled "Democracy Is NOW For Sale," will be held from 3:00 to 4:30 pmat the American Legion Post 130, 400 N Oak Street, Falls Church.

In its 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, the US Supreme Court lifted most restrictions governing political contributions by corporations and special-interest political action committees. The League program will review the negative impact that this unrestricted political spending has had on our democracy and include a discussion of what individuals can do in response.

For more information about the League and its programs, go to http://www.lwvfallschurch.org.

ON THE BALLOT: NOVEMBER 4, 2014 GENERAL ELECTION

Your Vote Counts!On November 4, 2014 citizens of Falls Church will vote for the following offices and referendums. The League of Women Voters of Falls Church has produced a voters' guide, which can be found here and on the national League's VOTE411.org website. In addition, the League has produced a pro/con fact sheet on the bond referendum to renovate Mt. Daniel Elementary School.

  • US Senator for Virginia. Vote for only one candidate. Candidates include:

-Ed W. Gillespie - Republican
-Mark R. Warner - Democrat
-Robert C. Sarvis - Libertarian

  • US Congressional Representative for the 8th District of Virginia. Vote for only one candidate. Candidates include:

-Micah K. Edmonds - Republican
-Donald S. Beyer, Jr. - Democrat
-Jeffrey S. Carson - Libertarian
-Gerard C. "Gerry" Blais III - Independent Green Party of Virginia
-Gwendolyn J. Beck - Independent

  • Proposed Virginia Constitutional Amendment:

Question: 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? Yes or No.

  • City Treasurer: Special election to fill an unexpired term ending December 31, 2017

-Jody Acosta - Democrat
-Chris Johnson - Independent

  • Proposed bond referendum for the City of Falls Church Schools

Question: Shall the City of Falls Church, Virginia, be authorized to contract a debt and issue its general obligation bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed Fifteen Million Six Hundred Thousand Dollars ($15,600,000.00) for the purpose of paying the costs incident to constructing, reconstructing, equipping and/or reequiping, in whole or in part, the Mount Daniel Elementary School, and shall Ordinance No. ____ of the City authorizing the issuance of such bonds be effective? Yes or No.

Voter Registration: October 14, 2014 is the last day to register to vote for the November election. To register to vote, you can register online or change your registration at www.Vote.Virginia.gov, or you can download the voter registration application or visit the office of the Falls Church City Registrar at 300 Park Avenue, Suite 101.

New Photo ID Requirement: Please remember that effective July 1, 2014, photo identification is required to vote in person in Virginia. A photo ID is not required if you vote via absentee ballot.

Voters must submit one of the following acceptable forms of identification when voting:

-Valid Virginia Driver's License
-DMV-issued photo identification card
-Valid United States Passport
-Valid Employee photo identification card
-Other government-issued photo identification card
-Valid college or university student photo identification card (issuer must be an institution of higher education located in Virginia)

IDs with expiration dates must be current or not expired more the 12 months before the election. If you do not have an acceptable form of identification please contact the Falls Church City Registrar for a free ID.

Absentee Voting: Registered voters unable to go to the polls on Election Day may vote by absentee ballot by mail or in person with reason.

-Voting By Mail: To vote absentee by mail, obtain an application from the Falls Church City Registrar or online by downloading the application from http://sbe.virginia.gov/Files/Forms/VoterForms/VirginiaAbsenteeBallotApplication.pdf. Read and follow the instructions exactly. Your application must be received by the Registrar at least seven days before the election, or Tuesday, October 28, for the November 4th General Election. The office of Voter Registration and Elections will then send you an absentee ballot that you must mark and mail back in time to reach the electoral board before the polls close on Election Day.

-Voting In Person: To vote absentee in-person, visit the Registrar's Office within the 45 days preceding the election, fill out the absentee voting application, and vote on the e-Slate voting machine (the same type of machine as the one used at the polls on Election Day). In-person absentee voting begins on Friday, September 19, and ends at 5:00 pm on the Saturday before the election, November 1. State law requires every Registrar's office to be open for absentee voting on the two Saturdays immediately preceding each General Election from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Other special evening and weekend hours may also be scheduled.

Contact the Falls Church Office of Voter Registration and Elections at 703-248-5085 (TTY 711) or by email, or visit the Virginia State Board of Elections website for more information: http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/ or call 1-800-552-9745.

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS SPONSORS FORUM ON NEW VOTING RULES

Are you ready to vote on November 4?

The League of Women Voters of Falls Church sponsored a public forum on September 28 to highlight changes in Virginia's election procedures and practices. The forum featured members of the Falls Church Electoral Board -- Renee Andrews and Margarette Shovlin -- and Falls Church General Registrar David Bjerke, and was moderated by Edith Holmes Snyder, president of the Falls Church League.

Among other issues, the panel highlighted Virginia's new photo identification requirements. Panelists addressed other election administration issues such as state legislation that would permit experimentation with vote centers and voting by mail. Audience members had the opportunity to share their ideas on how the voting process could be improved in what was a highly interactive session.

The League followed up with a guest column in the October 2, 2014 issue of the Falls Church News-Press on the photo ID requirement and what voters need to do to be sure that their votes in the November 4 General and Special Elections count.

The November 4th ballot includes races for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House and the Falls Church City treasurer, an amendment to Virginia's Constitution, and a referendum on issuing bonds for an expansion of Mt. Daniel Elementary School.

US SENATE CANDIDATES MEET IN PEOPLE'S DEBATE

The League of Women Voters of Virginia (LWV-VA) and AARP Virginia hosted a debate between Senator Mark Warner and challenger Ed Gillespie that was televised statewide on October 13.

The People's Debate, which took place in Richmond at the WCVE-TV (PBS) studio, can be seen in full on C-Span here. Highlights can be viewed on You Tube.

Organized by LWV-VA and AARP Virginia, the debate asked the candidates to go on record about issues important to all Virginians that ranged from ethics to Ebola.

The four panelists for the debate included Kristin Goss, President, League of Women Voters of Arlington; Bob Blancato, State President, AARP Virginia; Craig Carper, Reporter, WCVE-FM; and Cheryl Miller, Anchor, WTVR-TV. Bill Fitzgerald, Anchor, WTVR CBS 6, served as moderator.

Follow news and comment about the debate on Twitter at #PeoplesDebate.