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Election is Tuesday

Middlesex County voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, and choose from a ballot with national, state and local races.

For President and Vice President, respectively, voters will choose by political party from the following candidates:

  • Republican Party—Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
  • Democratic Party—Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
  • Constitutional Party—Virgil Goode and Jim Clymer.
  • Libertarian Party—Gary Johnson and James P. Gray.
  • Green Party—Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala.

Virginia voters will also choose a U.S. Senator—either Republican George F. Allen, or Democrat Timothy M. Kaine.

Voters will choose the First District member of the U.S. House of Representatives in a race between incumbent Republican Robert J. “Rob” Wittman, Democrat Adam M. Cook, and IG (Independent Green) party member G. Gail Parker.

In Urbanna, voters will cast ballots for mayor and six town council seats. All seven candidates are running unopposed.

Although Janet H. Smith’s name will still be on the ballot, she has withdrawn from the election and is not a candidate for mayor.

Current Mayor Donald B. Richwine is seeking re-election.

Current council members seeking re-election include Lee D. Chewning, Joe A. Heyman, William Jesse Thrift Jr., Joan S. Ward and Boyd C. Wiley. Joining them on the ballot is newcomer Barbara M. Hartley.


Virginians also will vote “yes” or “no” on two proposed amendments to the state constitution. They are:

Ballot Question #1
Ballot Question #1 involves eminent domain and asks, “Shall Section 11 of Article I (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended (i) to require that eminent domain only be exercised where the property taken or damaged is for public use and, except for utilities or the elimination of a public nuisance, not where the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development; (ii) to define what is included in just compensation for such taking or damaging of property; and (iii) to prohibit the taking or damaging of more private property than is necessary for the public use?”

The Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) explanation states: “The current Constitution prohibits the taking or damaging of private property for public uses without just compensation. The power to take private property for public uses is known as the power of eminent domain. If a private property owner and the entity acquiring property for a public use cannot agree on the sale of the property, the property may be taken by eminent domain and the amount of just compensation is decided in a court proceeding.

The SBE further explains that “in a 2005 case from Connecticut, the United States Supreme Court upheld the taking of private property and its transfer to a private business for economic development purposes, and also said that states could restrict the use of eminent domain.”

The SBE website goes on to state, “Two years later, the Virginia General Assembly enacted §1-219.1 of the Code of Virginia and set limits on the use of eminent domain powers. For example, §1-219.1 provides that no more private property may be taken than is necessary for the stated public use, that the public interest for the taking must outweigh any private gain, and that private property cannot be taken for certain primary purposes such as increasing the tax base, revenues, or employment.”

According to the SBE, “The proposed constitutional amendment continues the approach and concepts set out in §1-219.1. However, while limits in the Code can be amended by any future General Assembly, the proposed amendment, if approved by the voters, could only be changed by a future constitutional amendment approved by the voters.”

The proposed language also includes the following, “In all other cases, a taking or damaging of private property is not for public use if the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development, except for the elimination of a public nuisance existing on the property. The condemner bears the burden of proving that the use is public, without a presumption that it is.”

Ballot Question #2
Ballot Question #2 asks, “Shall Section 6 of Article IV (Legislature) of the Constitution of Virginia concerning legislative sessions be amended to allow the General Assembly to delay by no more than one week the fixed starting date for the reconvened or ‘veto’ session when the General Assembly meets after a session to consider the bills returned to it by the Governor with vetoes or amendments?”

The SBE explanation states, “After the end of every legislative session, the General Assembly is required by the Constitution to meet again or reconvene in a ‘veto’ session. The only bills that the General Assembly can consider in a veto session are bills that it had passed during the legislative session and that the Governor has sent back to it with his vetoes or suggested amendments. The Constitution now requires that the veto session must begin on the sixth Wednesday following the end of each session. The veto session usually lasts for only one day and cannot last more than 10 days.

“The only change to Section 6 of Article IV, proposed by this amendment will allow the General Assembly to delay the start of the veto session for up to one week.”

In 2012 changes were made to Virginia’s voter identification laws. The State Board of Elections reminds Virginia voters that state law now requires all voters to provide an acceptable form of identification (ID) at the polls. Voters arriving to the polls without ID will be required to vote a provisional ballot and will have until noon on the Friday after the election to deliver a copy of identification to their locality’s electoral board in order for their provisional ballot to be counted.

Acceptable forms of identification include the following:

  • Virginia voter registration card
  • Valid Virginia driver’s license
  • Military ID
  • Any federal, Virginia state, or local government-issued ID
  • Employer-issued photo ID card
  • Concealed handgun permit
  • Valid student ID issued by any institution of higher education located in the Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck indicating the name and address of the voter
  • Social Security card (However, a Social Security card does not satisfy special federal ID requirements for first-time voters.)

A voter who does not bring an acceptable ID to the polls will be offered a provisional ballot. After completing the provisional ballot, the individual voting will be given written instructions from the election officials on how to submit a copy of his/her identification so that his/her vote can be counted.

A voter will have until noon on the Friday following the election to deliver a copy of the identification to the local electoral board. Voters may submit a copy of their ID via fax, email, in-person submission, or through USPS or commercial delivery service. Please note that the copy of the ID must be delivered to the electoral board by noon on Friday, or the provisional ballot cannot be counted. A Friday postmark will not be sufficient if the copy of the ID is not delivered to the electoral board by noon on Friday.

The Middlesex County Electoral Board provided the following guide to the county’s seven election precinct locations.

Election precincts are assigned to registered voters based on the physical location of the voter’s residence in the county. If you are unsure of the precinct location where you should cast your vote, please call the Middlesex County Registrar’s Office at 758-4420.

On Tuesday, November 6, polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The election precincts described below are listed from east to west.

The New Market Precinct serves the Deltaville and Hardyville area and is in the Middlesex County Volunteer Rescue Squad (MCVRS) building at 17684 General Puller Highway in Deltaville. Voters should enter the building using the side entrance adjacent to the parking lot and exit by the front door of the building. There is usually ample parking in the MCVRS lot for voters; however, parking is restricted in the ambulance bay and helicopter landing area of the parking lot. Please pay attention and do not park in these restricted areas.

The Wilton Precinct serves voters in the Hartfield and Wake areas and is in the YMCA building at 11487 General Puller Highway in Hartfield. Voters should enter the front door of the YMCA building that is closer to Route 33.

The Harmony Village Precinct serves parts of Saluda as well as the Topping and Locust Hill areas and is in the Cryer Center at 7485 General Puller Highway in Locust Hill. Parking is adequate at this location, but only because election officials and campaign representatives will park on the right side of the Cryer Center building, as the front parking spaces are reserved for voters on Election Day.

The Saluda Precinct serves the Saluda and Cooks Corner area and is in the Public Meeting Room at the Cooks Corner Office Complex, 2911 General Puller Highway. Employees who work in the office complex as well as election officers and campaign representatives should park in the rear of the building as the front parking lot is reserved for voters use on Election Day.

The Urbanna Precinct serves the town of Urbanna and surrounding areas and is in the Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department building at 340 Virginia Street in Urbanna. Parking for voters is located near the rear entrance to the building. However, there is a handicapped voter parking space and entrance at the front of the building on Virginia Street. 

The Church View Precinct at Hermitage Baptist Church serves the Church View and surrounding areas in the western end of the county. The church is just off of Route 17 at 94 Wares Bridge Road. Voting takes place in the basement of the church, which can be accessed by an elevator for any handicapped voters. Ample parking is provided by the lot next to the church.

The Water View Precinct serves the Water View and surrounding areas in the western end of the county and is in the Upper Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department building at 4583 Water View Road. Parking is located next to the firehouse.

The Middlesex County Electoral Board of Robert Tassone, Raymond Kostesky and Wanda Ross supervises the election process in Middlesex County. Any questions or concerns regarding any election issue should be directed to the Electoral Board through the registrar’s office at 758-4420.

posted 10.31.2012

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