Virginia Election Data Project: more voter registrations are coming through the Virginia Department of Elections citizen portal on line

(News release from The Virginia Department of Elections, May 17, 2016)

RICHMOND, VA – The Virginia Department of Elections (the Department) released the Virginia Election Data Project, a collaborative effort with local election officials and the State Board of Elections (SBE), with technical assistance provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.  The Virginia Election Data Project, available at, analyzes election and voter data provided to the Department by local election offices and presents the data visualized in a user-friendly online format.

Highlights from this data analysis include:

·       Highlighting changes in how Virginia voters are choosing to register to vote:  In every year since 2012, the majority of voter registration applications were submitted through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  However, Virginia voters are beginning to rely more heavily on online registration, which was introduced in 2013.  In the first three months of 2016, approximately 40 percent of registrations came via the state’s online registration system, while 33 percent came from the DMV.  Online voter registration is available through the Department’s citizen portal at

·       Preparing for Presidential election year activity:  While Presidential election years generally bring high levels of participation, local election officials can use this tool to see that voter registration activity is almost 35% higher during the first three months of 2016 in comparison to the first three months of 2012.  This allows local election officials to prepare to hire additional staff for processing voter registrations to ensure timely responses to voters.

Governor Terry McAuliffe applauded the release of the Virginia Election Data Project and said, “This approach to data analysis enhances government transparency and accountability as part of my administration’s commitment to make voting more accessible.”  These visualizations enable members of the public to assess their locality’s performance in several areas, such as voter turnout, voter registration application acceptance rates and absentee ballot application processing times.

Virginia continues to be a national leader in leveraging technology and data to improve the voting experience.  Commissioner of Elections Edgardo Cortés said, “We are delighted to debut the Virginia Election Data Project as part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to improve the administration of elections in the Commonwealth.  This tool allows us to use a data-driven approach to recognize best practices that will result in a better experience for Virginia voters.”

The Department and the SBE will use this data to identify general registrars with the best election administration practices and share them across the state.  James Alcorn, Chairman of the Virginia State Board of Elections, said, “This tool helps the Board, policy makers, and the public to better understand and evaluate election administration in Virginia.  This is in line with the Board’s practice of conducting quality reviews of elections with local election administrators.”

The Department of Elections created a working group of local election officials to provide feedback and guidance during development of the Virginia Election Data Project.  Donna Patterson, the City of Virginia Beach General Registrar and a member of the working group, said, “This project provides a useful tool for identifying strengths and challenges in local election offices.  We are building on the long history of working together as an election community to identify ways to better serve our voters.”

“Virginia’s year-long effort to use local-level data to assess and improve the elections process is an important step in identifying what’s working as well as where there are challenges,” said Sean Greene, project director for The Pew Charitable Trusts’ election initiatives.  “This is a good example of how states can bring together local officials to both share best practices and take a hard look at how to improve election administration.”  Pew’s election initiatives examine pressing election problems, share successful practices, and undertake projects to help states implement efficient and cost-effective solutions.

The working group of local election officials that assisted the Department consisted of Tammy Alexander, Electoral Board member, City of Petersburg; April Cain, Electoral Board member, Henrico County; Lisa Jeffers, Director of Elections, City of Waynesboro; Bill Lewis, Electoral Board member, City of Hampton; Margaret Marcenelle, Electoral Board member, Mecklenburg County; John Nunnaly, Electoral Board member, Caroline County; Donna Patterson, General Registrar, City of Virginia Beach; Greg Riddlemoser, Director of Elections, Stafford County; and Allison Robbins, Director of Elections, Wise County.

The Virginia Election Data Project is available at ###

Find your polling place and vote

by Sarah Williams

Where do I go to vote?

Who should I vote for? Hopefully you have done your homework and understand the ballot! Here in Bristol I am recommending:

  • U.S. Senate – Senator Mark R. Warner, who will be with us at the Washington County Potluck, Saturday Nov. 1, at 5:00 p.m.! Come to Abingdon High School, 601-727 Thompson Drive in Abingdon, bring food, eat with us, cheer our Senator on, and vote for him on Nov. 4th.
  • House of Representatives – I can usually choose a candidate, but in this race there is nobody that I consider a good representative of the Ninth District. Griffith has not continued the initiatives that Rick Boucher had going for us, he did not take care of Glade after the tornado, and he has not looked after the interest of the Ninth in jobs, infrastructure, and health care. Carr has nothing to run on except that he thinks that Griffith is too liberal and not as dedicated to the extreme right social agenda. So I might just write in Rick Boucher, as I have heard other Democrats are doing. And I will set aside money from my Christmas fund to support a Democrat to run in two years. Step up, folks! We need someone to continue the Boucher tradition of service in the Ninth.
  • Proposed Constitutional Amendment – Yes. Of course yes.
  • Clerk of Court – Kelly Flannagan Duffy for reasons too numerous to mention. If you have been paying attention, you know the reasons already. If not, check out the link. Or you can come tonight at 7:00 p.m. to the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, 20 Volunteer Pkwy, Bristol TN, and meet Kelly in person. Actually, do both. This is important.

And that is the whole ballot, folks! November 4, 2014. Make a difference – do your homework and vote!

Ryan Lies

by Bernard Via III
August 30, 2012

Last night’s speech by Paul Ryan was amazing. In the middle of his speech he pointed out a small town in his district that had a GM plant. He said Obama came to that town and promised to keep that plant open. In actuality, that plant closed under George W. Bush — so Ryan lied. If not for Obama, all GM plants would be shuttered. Ryan told a boldfaced lie and he knew it. If he has to lie, he is hiding the true agenda.

Five Supreme Court Justices opened this campaign to being bought by large corporations. Money is power — we will have to wait to see how well money works in this election to manipulate the American people and cause them to believe lies.

City of Bristol VA Democratic Call To Caucus

Update April 19, 2012: Caucus Cancellation Notice — The Bristol Virginia Democratic Committee Caucus scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on April 23, 2012 at the Bristol Virginia Courthouse, 497 Cumberland Street, Bristol, VA has been cancelled pursuant to the provision of the Call to Caucus, which reads, “Should the exact number of persons file for the Bristol delegate and alternate positions, those individuals will be declared delegates and alternates and the Chair may cancel the caucus.”

The Bristol Virginia Democratic Committee will hold an assembled caucus beginning at 7:30 p.m. on April 23, 2012 at the Bristol Virginia Courthouse, 497 Cumberland Street, Bristol, VA for the purpose of electing 5 delegates and 1 alternate to the Ninth Congressional District Convention to be held on May 19, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Rooker Auditorium at New River Community College, 5251 College Drive, Dublin, VA 24084 for the purpose of nominating a Democratic candidate for the 9th District for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Any person attending the caucus, before participating in the caucus, shall sign a standardized declaration form stating that he or she is a Democrat, believes in the principles of the Democratic Party, does not intend to support any candidate who is opposed to a Democratic nominee in the ensuing general election, is not a member of any other political party, has not participated in and will not participate in the nominating process of any other political party, and is a registered voter in the City of Bristol, VA. Declaration forms must be filled out at the caucus prior to voting.

Doors to the caucus will open at 7:00 p.m. for check-in. Doors to the caucus will close at 7:30 p.m., and no person may complete a form or enter the caucus after that time with the exception of those persons in line to register at 7:30 p.m.

Any person wishing to seek election as a delegate or alternate to the Ninth Congressional District Convention must pre-file a Delegate/Alternate Pre-filing Form with Sarah Williams, Chair of the Bristol Virginia Democratic Committee, prior to 5:00 p.m., April 18, 2012. There is a voluntary administrative fee of $20.00, which may be waived at the time of filing.

No late forms will be accepted, and no person who has failed to comply with any pre-filing requirement may be considered for nomination. Pre-filing forms are available from Sarah Williams, and may be completed and filed during the turn-in hours of 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on April 18, 2012, at 710 Piedmont Avenue in Bristol, VA, or earlier by appointment.

Our process encourages broad participation and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, national origin, religion, ethnic identity or economic status in delegate selection.

Should the exact number of persons file for the Bristol delegate and alternate positions, those individuals will be declared delegates and alternates and the Chair may cancel the caucus. For further information or to turn in pre-filing forms, please contact Sarah Williams, Chair of the Bristol Virginia Democratic Committee, at 276-591-3355.

Authorized by the Bristol Virginia Democratic Committee
March 19, 2012

Voter Registration

If you are concerned about voter registration in Bristol, Virginia, remember that you can verify your own registration and insure that everything goes smoothly on election day! The voter registration site has lots of information that you can use — dates of elections, forms and instructions for registration, etc., everything you will need. This year the Republican Presidential Primary is on March 6th, local elections for City Council and School Board will be on May 1, the House of Representatives/ U.S. Senate primary is tentatively scheduled for June 12, and the Presidential Election in which we will be voting for President, U.S. House of Representatives, and U.S. Senate will be on November 6th. Verify these dates on the voter registration site, put them on your calendar, and be sure you are ready to vote!

You must be registered to participate in these important events.

Look for our local City Council and School Board races to gear up soon. There will be lots of information in the news in Bristol, comments on this page, and announced opportunities to meet the candidates. These folks are our friends and neighbors, and we will be counting on those we elect to take care of our city and our schools, so become involved, get to know the candidates, and vote in the local elections on May 1, 2012.