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Surovell: U.S. Supreme Court Should Overturn Partisan Redistricting

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Virginia is represented by Democrats in all five statewide offices, has voted for a Democratic president three times, yet the Virginia House of Delegates has 66 Republicans and 34 Democrats.

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the legality and constitutionality of the last redistricting of Virginia House of Delegates’ districts. The court’s decision could be monumental for all Virginia voters.

If I could fix one thing to make our government work better at every level, I would reform redistricting. Partisan redistricting abuse has been around since the beginning of American democracy. The term “gerrymander” originates from an 1812 attempt to draw districts favoring Massachusetts Governor Eldridge Gerry. To be clear, both parties do it, but in the last two decades, gerrymandering has become especially powerful for a few reasons.

First, America is more partisan. Due to multiple and growing sources of information available in today’s world, voters are able to self-select their news sources and are exposed to fewer alternative perspectives. This has driven up partisan identification and led to fewer voters who are willing to split their votes between political parties.
Second, and more importantly, computer-enabled mapping software has made it possible to draw districts that are finely crafted. When redistricting was done with index cards shifting precincts days because of ancillary effects and the need to recalculate and balance district populations.

Today, computing technology analyzes data by census block and in a few seconds can draw a comprehensive set of districts to elect a predicted number from a specific political party while maximizing majority-minority districts.

Over the last thirty years, these political considerations have caused district lines to constantly shift. Many areas constantly move between congressmen, senators and delegates every redistricting cycle. Changed lines leave people confused about their representatives. Census level analysis leaves precincts split requiring local governments to redraw precinct lines to avoid polling places with multiple ballots. This costs taxpayers money and leaves voters confused about their polling place.

Resulting districts are not communities of interest. The 36th Senate district that I represent stretches 60 miles across three counties and two area codes. The 1st Congressional District crosses the 36th District and stretches from Manassas to near Norfolk. Districts should minimize jurisdictional splits, use natural geographical boundaries like rivers and be truly compact and contiguous.

Together, this creates a series of hyper-partisan districts, both Republican and Democratic, which are so safe in general elections that they incentivize incumbents to focus on galvanizing primary voters’ support and not the broader electorate. This distorts public policy and increases partisanship when it is time to legislate.

There are two solutions to this problem. First, the legislature could give up redistricting power and transfer it to a bipartisan or nonpartisan commission. Incumbent legislators should not pick their voters. I have always supported nonpartisan redistricting and the Virginia State Senate has passed it several times, but it always dies in the hyper-gerrymandered House of Delegates. A legislative solution is highly unlikely.

The real opportunity to remedy this situation lies in the courts. Some courts have thrown out hyper gerrymandered seats using Voting Rights Act provisions. While valuable, this law is not a comprehensive tool because it is limited to preventing racial discrimination and does not address other problems with partisan redistricting. A Wisconsin federal court recently used an analysis based on the 1st and 14th Amendments to invalidate partisan redistricting by focusing on “wasted votes,” but did not recommend a remedy.

Courts can often better resolve issues that legislatures cannot. For example, in 1962, numerous legislatures, including Virginia’s, refused to redraw districts recognizing the booming suburban populations. The U.S. Supreme Court required Virginia and other states to draw districts based on actual population by adopting the “one man, one vote” rule of the Baker v. Carr case.

Today, it is similarly time for the Courts to restore democracy to our country and our Commonwealth. Hopefully, they will use the Virginia House of Delegates case argued this week to restore democracy to America.

It is an honor to serve as your state senator. If you have any feedback, you can always contact me at scott@scottsurovell.org.

News
With replacement elected, Manassas treasurer set to retire after 35 years

MANASSAS, Va. — Robin Perkins will retire after working 35 years as the Treasuer for Manassas City. 

More in a press release: 

“More than 35 years ago, Robin Perkins, retiring Treasurer of the City of Manassas, began volunteering in the Treasurer’s Office a couple of days a week. When she began her career with the City, tax records were kept on a binary card system. Staff had to wade through cards and copies in triplicate as residents paid their taxes. When Robin began with the City of Manassas, Utility billing was handled through the Treasurer’s office as well.”

“Years later, with the advent of personal computers, Robin was the first City Treasurer to create the original tax database for City residents. Since that time, she has worked through three more system upgrades and overhauls. She has dedicated her career to good stewardship as she collects taxes, pays invoices and handles the City of Manassas investment portfolio.”

“Perkins raised two children and three grandchildren during her tenure. As a graduate of Osbourn High School, Perkins assisted with school activities for her own children as they attended Osbourn High School as well.”

“Perkins has served on the Greater Manassas Christmas Parade Committee for six years, helping to put on the best Christmas Parade in the region. She serves with the Manassas Rotary Club in many community endeavors, most importantly the Christmas Party for residents of Birmingham Green Assisted Living. She is a member of the Manassas Warrenton Camera Club.” 

“Perkins plans to travel with her husband of 42 years, first seeing the United States and then on to other pursuits.” 

Before she rides off into the sunset, Perkins will be honored as “Woman of the Year” at the 71st Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 3. 

Patricia Richie-Folks will replace Perkins as Treasuer. She was elected on November 8 by city residents.

She penned a thank you note to voters:

“I am thankful and honored beyond words that the citizens of the City of Manassas have bestowed upon me the honor of serving as their next Treasurer. It is to these voters that I express my extreme gratitude.”

“Manassas voters have clearly demonstrated their confidence in my experience to perform the duties of the City Treasurer’s Office, and I am ready to rise to the challenge.”

“During my campaign, I stated that I would ensure that the City Treasurer’s office operates with efficiency, accuracy, and excellent customer service and that I would promote transparency of all aspects of these operations. I will vigorously pursue these goals.

The staff currently in place is comprised of experienced professionals who provide excellent customer service. We will work diligently to maximize the use of the newly-installed accounting system to ensure optimal performance.”

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Exclusive: Will Prince William schools follow its own rules and close for Trump Inauguration?

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PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Ask any teacher, parent, or student in Prince William County today and they’ll tell you school is in session on January 20, Inauguration Day, the day Donald Trump moves into the White House.

Why? The school calendar lists January 20, 2017, as a regular school day.

But school officials and parents might have to rethink their plans.

Following the election of President Obama in 2008, the School Board voted to make Inauguration Day 2009 — and all subsequent Inauguration Days, which happen every four years after a U.S. President is elected — a holiday.

But, memories appear to be short. And the current School Board has, apparently, forgot about this rule it put in place eight years ago.

From Prince William County Schools spokeswoman Irene Cromer:

“[Innaguration Day] is not currently on the calendar but we will let you know of any changes.”

Northern Virginia was a frenzy of anticipation leading up to Inauguration Day 2009. Aside from the fact that the historic event would see the swearing-in of the nation’s first black president, hundreds of thousands flocked to the area to bear witness or to be a part of inaugural festivities.

Virginia State Police closed Interstate 395 and a portion of I-66 at the Capital Beltway, forcing the thousands headed into Washington from Virginia to take Metro or to find another route through Maryland.

Teachers in Prince William County wanted to take off from work to go to the Inauguration. By declaring the date a holiday, Prince William teachers didn’t have to worry about using allocated time off to do so, according to the minutes of the same School Board meeting.

While the inauguration of Donald Trump may not be historical, the political upset that will put him in the White House is. We’ll update you on any changes the Prince William County School Board makes to its calendar.

Updated

The vote by the Prince William County School Board in 2008 declaring Inauguration Day a school holiday also made Presidents Day on Inauguration years a regular school day.

Prince William County Potomac District School Board member Justin Wilk says he wants to hear from students on this issue: 

 

News
Democrats pick up seats on Manassas Park Governing Body

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MANASSAS PARK, Va. — Donald Shuemaker, Hector Cendejas, and Miriam Machado will all take seats on the Manassas Park Governing Body.

The results of the General Election held Tuesday. November 8 were just released to Potomac Local. The ballot count was extended to the unusual number of write-in votes during the election.

Shuemaker, and independent, is the only candidate whose name was listed on the ballot. He won the most votes, with 3,081 of the about 4,000 cast.

Two Democrats running as write-in candidates picked up seats on the Governing Body. Cendejas won

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with 1,349 votes, and Machado won with 559 votes.

Independent Mehtab Sign Kahlon lost his bid for a Governing Body seat to Machado by two votes.

Manassas Park General Registrar Patrica Brendel told us this morning that the ballot count was slowed due to a large number of write-in ballots cast. 

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Here is the breakdown for the remaining candidates: 

Micheal Rogers, 483

— Bill Treuting, Jr., 415

— Melissa Garza, 385

Richard Schubert, 181

— Jessie Ludvigsen 110

We’ve linked to the candidate profiles in this post to the candidates who responded to our Project: Election questionnaire sent to all Manassas Park candidates prior to Election Day.

Also notable in this election, Democrat Jeanette Rishell unseated longtime Republican Mayor Frank Jones

Bryan E. Polk and Keith Miller, who both hold seats on the Manassas Park Governing Board, decided not to seek re-election this year.

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Democrats’ night in Manassas: New faces on City Council, School Board

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MANASSAS, Va. — Voters shook up the Manassas City Council on Tuesday when they elected a two new Democrats to the board, and sent home a long-serving Republican.

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Wolfe

Mark Wolfe, a Republican turned Democrat in 2016, won his reelection bid with nearly 20% of the vote, more than any of the field of six candidates vying to fill three council seats that were up for grabs. Wolfe was elected to the City Council eight years ago as a Republican.

Statement from Wolfe added to this post at 10:43 a.m.: 

“I am tremendously honored by the support that the voters have given me. 
 
The results send a clear message that the citizens of Manassas want to build a Better Manassas. 
It also sends the message that they want leaders who practice positive politics and who get things done.
 
Pam and I are committed to meeting those expectations and we look forward to working with the rest of the City Council
to move Manassas forward.” 

Wolfe ran on a combined ticket with Pamela Sebesky, who serves on the city’s School Board,  and political newcomer Rex Parr, and one-time director of Manassas-based Didlake Inc., a major regional employer of people with disabilities.

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Sebesky won her bid for a seat on the Council with nearly 18% of the vote, and sent us this statement:

“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me by the voters of the city of Manassas. I will work hard to serve and represent all in our city.”

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Lovejoy

Sebesky will replace Jonathan Way, who has served on the City Council for the past 10 years and as Vice Mayor for the past two years. Like the Democrats, Way ran on a unified ticket with fellow Republicans Theresa Coates Ellis, and incumbent Ian Lovejoy.

Lovejoy will head back to Council after winning 16% of the vote.

Statement from Lovejoy added 2:52 p.m. :

“I’m humbled by the showing of support and to be re-elected to the Manassas City Council. It’s been an honor serving all citizens of our city for the past four years and I’m eager to do so for the next four. In an election that saw the city tilt toward the Democratic Presidential nominee by 58%, for a Republican to overcome that and win a clear victory shows our residents are still heavily invested in practical, effective and affordable government. I do not plan to let them down.”

Longtime Mayor Hal Parrish will keep his seat after running unopposed. He won the seat on Tuesday with nearly 96% of the vote.

Manassas residents also elected Democrat Patricia Richie-Folks as the city’s new treasurer, beating out Republican

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Richie-Folks

Russell Harrison. This marks Richie-Folks’ first term in public office, made possible by the retirement of Robin Perkins, who spent 17 years on the job.

The blue wave that enveloped the city wasn’t just contained to local offices. Voters overwhelming went for Hillary Clinton in the Presidental Election, giving her nearly 55% of the vote over Donald Trump.

While Trump won the Presidency, Virginia was a win for the Democrats on Tuesday.

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The city also went for Democrat LuAnn Bennett, who mounted an unsuccessful campaign to unseat freshman Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, who serves Virginia’s 10th District. Comstock won a second term for Congress with a five-point win.

On the Manassas City School Board, one newcomer joins the Board while three incumbents will head back to work.

Incumbents Kirsten Kiefer, Scott Albrecht, and Suzanne Seaberg were all elected to four-year terms on the Board. Newcomer Robyn R. Williams was elected with 17% of the vote.

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Seaberg

Albrecht sent us this statement:

“I am genuinely humbled and honored and look forward to the opportunity to serve the citizens of Manassas for another four years. My sincere congratulations to all of the successful candidates and a thank you to all of the candidates who kept the election for School Board positive and focused on the success for all children.”

School Board candidates run without political party affiliation.

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Albrecht

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Williams

News
Unopposed Connolly keeps seat in Virginia’s 11th District in Fairfax, Prince William

Rep. Gerry E. Connolly, D-Fairfax, Prince William. [Uriah Kiser/Potomac Local News]

Unopposed Congressman Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly will keep his seat serving Fairfax and Prince William counties.

The Democrat won his fifth-straight term in office Tuesday night. He first won the seat in 2008.

From Connolly:

“I thank the voters of Virginia’s 11th District for once again giving me their trust and sending me back to Congress. I love what I do and I love representing people of Northern Virginia. It’s been the greatest privilege of my life.”

Connolly served on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large prior to being elected to Congress.”

News
Updated: Manassas Park election results may not come until Thursday

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MANASSAS PARK, Va. — We won’t know until Wednesday who will win three seats on the Manassas Park City Governing Body. 

Only one person, Donald Shumaker, turned in his paperwork in time to have his name listed on the ballot. At least seven other people were running as write-in candidates. 

This just in from the Manassas Park City Voter Registrar’s Office: 

No, we don’t have final numbers for the Governing Body. We do have mayoral numbers on the website.

The rest of the GB is being decided by write-ins as you know. That process is still ongoing in all precincts. Due to the number of write in votes, we will not be able to report the final numbers  to you until tomorrow.

Shumaker received 37% of the vote, according to State of Virginia election results.

We’ll report the final Manassas Park City Governing Body results when we get them. 

Updated 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016

From Manassas Park General Registrar’s office: 

“…the Electoral Board will meet later this morning to start combining the results.  Of course we don’t know how long that process will take. I would suggest that you contact our office perhaps later tomorrow for an updated status. We simply can not anticipate having results any more precisely than that.”

News
Jeanette Rishell wins Manassas Park City Mayor seat

MANASSAS PARK, Va. — Jeanette Rishell is Manassas Park City’s next mayor. 

 

The Democrat declared victory at an election party in Manassas Tueday night with three out of the city’s four precincts reporting. 

Rishell had 61% percent of the vote at the time she declared victory. She gave up her seat on the Manassas Park Governing Board to run for Mayor.

Both Rishell and Jones said bringing new business to the city would help reduce the locality’s $120 million debt incurred when a new police station, and a community center.

She’ll replace the long-serving Frank Jones who held the seat for the past 12 years. 

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Wittman declares victory in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — Rob Wittman declared victory in Virginia’s 1st Congressioanl District tonight. 

The Republican took on independent Gail Parker, and policital newcomer Matt Rowe in a race to represent a Congessioanl Disrict that spans from Prince William County to Williamsburg. 

Wittman issued this statement: 

“I’m a firm believer in the power of democracy and a firm believer in this process. It’s no small thing that we get to come together like this to choose who holds public office in this country, and I’m humbled that the folks in the First District have chosen me. We’ve still got a lot of work to do to get Washington back on track and out of the business of over-regulating people’s lives and livelihoods. But–together–I believe we can be an overwhelming force for change. I’m looking forward to working with men and women across the First District for a better tomorrow.”

Wittman announced that he would watch the campaign results come in from the Stafford Regional Airport on Tuesday night.

Wittman plans to make a run for Virginia Governor in 2o17.

News
Decatur wins Stafford County School Board seat

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. — Jamie Decatur will take her seat on the Stafford County School Board, defeating challenger and one-time School Board member Dana Reinboldt.

Decatur won with the vote by just over 12 points in the Griffis-Widewater District, with 54% of the vote.

We’ve contacted Decatur about her win. We’ll post her comments to this post as soon as we hear from her.

This was a special election for the seat. Reinboldt lost the seat last fall to Emily Fallon, who was convicted this year of stealing $23,000 from Anne E. Moncure Elementary School in North Stafford.

Fallon was the PTO president at the school at the time the cash was found to have been stolen.

Decatur proposes creating a cash capital fund to reduce the need for over budgeting for the county schools, she told us.

The stay-at-home mom is a graduate of North Stafford High School.

News
Lines form early, stay brisk on Election Day

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Lines at the polls this Election Day formed early on Tuesday.

Many across Prince William County reported long lines this morning at polling places. The pace was steady, and the mood of the voters: patient. 

In Manassas Park City where voters choose between Barbara Comstock or LuAnn Bennet for the 10th Congressional District, will vote on a Mayor, and a slate of new Governing Body candidates, a total of 1,443 votes were cast in Manassas as of 9 a.m., according to Manasass Park City Deputy Registrar Nancy Van Wyen.

In Pricne William County, elections spokesman Forrest Winston said the pace at the polls was brisk, but reported no problems.

Stafford County General Registrar Greg Riddlemoser reported simliar conditions at the polls, and said there had been no issues with voting eqiuipment. 

Submitted photos from the polls: 

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Pictured on the left, Virginia State Senator Scott Surrovell (Fairfax, Stafford, Prince William) — who is not up for election this year — out with voters in Stafford County.

Pictured in the center Prince William Count Occoquan Distinct Supervisor Ruth Anderson, and Prince William County State Delegate Rich Anderson -- both not running for election this year -- with voters at the Prince William County Government Center.

Pictured in the center Prince William Count Occoquan Distinct Supervisor Ruth Anderson, and Prince William County State Delegate Rich Anderson — both not running for election this year — with voters at the Prince William County Government Center.


Tweet us your photos @PotomacLocal

Send your photos and Election Day stories 

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Ivanka: “My father is just the messenger…this is your movement”

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MANASSAS, Va. — Ivanka Trump made one of her final campaign stops for her father today in Manassas.

The 35-year-old fashion model turned entrepreneur, and now head of the Trump organization took the stage, joined by her sister, Tiffany, 22, where both talked to a crowd of Republicans about why their dad should be the next U.S. President.

“My father is just the messenger…this is your movement,” said Ivanka Trump. “He’s led a pretty good life… he’s doing this for you.”

The Trump sisters were whisked into the Red Rose Events Center on Liberia Avenue by U.S. Secret Service where they stood and took questions from a moderator for about 20 minutes at 3 p.m. Monday. About 540 supporters came to greet the Trumps, and to show their support for their father, and distrust of his opponent Hillary Clinton.

Ivanka Trump’s remarks differed from her father’s familiar campaign speeches.

“My father is very blunt in his remarks, and you know where he stands on the issues,” she said.

When asked about women’s issues, Ivanka Trump said she shies away from “women’s” issues, calling healthcare, equal pay, and education everyone’s issues.

“All issues are women’s’ issues. We don’t talk about ‘men’s’ issues,” said Trump.

When asked to how Donald Trump appeals to Millenials, the sisters responded by assuring them their father knows recent college graduates are looking for jobs and are swimming in debt.

“My father is the man to get the job done,” Ivanka Trump added.

The Trump sister’s appearance in Manassas follows Donald Trump’s late-night rally in Leesburg Sunday night that attracted thousands. Trump trailed Clinton by six points in Virginia on Monday, where Clinton is expected to win Democratic-heavy Northern Virginia, as well as the state’s populous urban regions like Richmond and Hampton Roads.

Trump may also have a difficult time swaying Latinos to vote for him after comments that he made early in the campaign about illegal immigrants. ‘

“I don’t hear any fixes for the problems when I listen to him speak,” said Antonio Vasquez, 52, of Triangle, and a Hillary Clinton supporter. “He’s going to deport 11 million people. The countries should be working together to fix immigration.”

At a rally in Reno, Nevada on Saturday, Trump said the immigration process needs to be reformed, and that it should not take as long as it does today for immigrants to enter the U.S. legally.

Vasquez in 2012 voted or President Barack Obama in 2012, and he called it a “mistake.”

“He promised that he was going to to do much more for immigrants and he did nothing,” he added.

Republicans in the final hours of the campaign are working hard to get out the vote. Calls were made from inside the Red Rose for additional GOP volunteer poll workers to come to precincts in Democrat-heavy Fairfax County to pass out fliers, as well as give rides to get voters to polling places.

Trump campaign volunteer Laurie Mullins, of Bristow, has been working to register voters.

“I’ve helped people in their 80s, people who have never voted before, register to vote,” said Mullens, who is hoping for a large Trump turnout in Virginia.

News
Clinton wins Beville Middle School: Students hold mock election

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DALE CITY, Va. — They stood outside the gym chattering, excited, waiting — some not so patiently — to cast their vote for the next U.S. President.

“Stop! I did not call you in here yet,” shouted Tiffany Graczyk, a history and civics teacher at Beville Middle School in Dale City, who worked to keep order at the polling place while telling two anxious students to get back into a long line outside formed in a hallway outside the gym.

Graczyk on November 3 was serving as a poll worker in the school’s mock election, allowing voting students 12 and 14-years-old to place their ballots into a box and then giving each an “I voted” sticker. Many of those stickers wound up on voters’ faces.

“I won’t be able to vote for president, for real, until I’m 21-years-old, so this is my chance to be heard,” said 13-year-old AJ Royall.

The students and teachers participating in Beville Middle School’s mock election took it seriously. Once voters entered the polling place, they stood in a line until called to a table staffed by volunteers from the Prince William County Leauge of Women Voters, where each was asked for voter ID.

A card given to each student at the begging of the year with the student’s phone number, or the “lunch number” were accepted as valid forms of ID. Poll workers checked their names against a list of student voters, and then each voter was sent to a booth to fill out an individual ballot to include all four candidates for president: Clinton, Trump, Gary Johnson, of the Libertarian Party, and Jill Stein, of the Green Party.

Also on the students’ ballot: The same two constitutional amendment questions adults will see when they go to the polls on Tuesday, and the name Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly, who is running unopposed, seeking his 5th term in Congress representing Prince William and Fairfax counties.

“I didn’t like that we had only one option for Congress,” said Sarah-Myra Nzeutcheb, 13. “I hoped to see more options.”

Beville Middle School instructors Graczyk, Jim McGovern, and Atif Qarni, who last year ran for Virginia State Senate in Prince William County, worked together since the beginning of the school year to pull off the mock election. The teachers rearranged their governmental teaching unit that explains about the election process and the Electoral College and moved it from the end of the year to the beginning so students could understand what is happening on Election Day November 8.

“We want our students to be educated about the process, we show them TV campaign coverage, like CNN vs. Fox News and we show them campaign ads on TV, and we show them campaign mailers,” said Qarni. “We want them to experience the election as if they were voting in it.”

Graczyk counted the more than 400 ballots during 7th period, and an announcement declaring the winner of the vote was made before students left school for the day.

Hillary Clinton won the day at Beville with 242 votes, while Donald Trump won 32 votes. The remainder of the votes were split between Johnson and Stein.

All schools in Prince William County will be closed on November 8, as many are used for polling places.

News
Potomac Local Voter Guide 2016: What’s on my ballot?

It’s been a long election season, and in it will be all over in about 48 hours.

We crafted this local voter guide for residents in Prince William and Stafford counties and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. This handy guide will tell you who is on your ballot, from presidential candidates, city council, and school board.

Also in the Guide: Links to profiles for the two candidates running in the special Manassas City Treasuer election, and links to the two constitutional amendments all Virginia voters will see when they go to the polls on Tuesday.

PotomacLocal.com’s Project: Election sent candidate surveys to all of the candidates listed this post. We have linked to the responses submitted by the candidates. 

If there is no link provided for a candidate for local offices, that candidate did not provide Project: Election questionnaire. 

For Presidential and Congressional candidates, we linked to their campaign websites. An asterisk notes incumbents. 

U.S. President 

Prince William County

1st Congressional District 

10th Congressional District

11th Congressional District

City of Manassas 

10th Congressional District

Manassas City Mayor 

City of Manassas Park 

Manassas Park City Mayor 

Governing Body 

Stafford County 

1st Congressional District 

Griffis-Widewater District School Board Representative 

Now for the two Constitutional Amendment questions that all Virginia residents will see.

Here is the first Constitutional Amendment question on the ballot: 

Should Article I of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to prohibit any agreement or combination between an employer and a labor union or labor organization whereby (i) nonmembers of the union or organization are denied the right to work for the employer, (ii) membership to the union or organization is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or (iii) the union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any such enterprise?

Here is the second Constitutional Amendment question on the ballot: 

Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow the General Assembly to provide an option to the localities to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel who was killed in the line of duty, where the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence and has not remarried?

See more 2016 election coverage

News
Ivanka Trump will be at Red Rose Events Center today in Manassas

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Donald Trump is scheduled to appear tonight at 6 p.m. at a campaign rally at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds in Leesburg.

From the campaign:

Get your tickets to join Donald Trump and team in Leesburg, VA TONIGHT at 9:30 PM for a rally! Get your tickets here. Details about the event are below:

Sunday, Nov. 6th: Leesburg, VA
Loudoun Fairgrounds
17558 Dry Mill Rd.
Leesburg, VA 20175

Doors Open: 6:30 PM
Event Begins: 9:30 PM
Get your tickets here.

With election day approaching quickly, we are looking for volunteers to make phone calls and knock doors. To make calls from our office or to get a walking list, stop by any of our offices. To make calls from home, register for an account at https://talk.donaldjtrump.com.

Please limit personal items and arrive early to expedite entrance into the venue – please note, NO homemade signs, banners, professional cameras with a detachable lens, tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, back packs or large bags will be permitted into the venue.

Ivanka Trump will appear in Manassas on Monday.

The daughter of Donald Trump will take questions during a “town hall” meeting just one day before the election. The event will be held at the Red Rose Events Center located at 9705 Liberia Avenue, #101, in Manassas.

Ivanka Trump will take the stage at 2:30  2 p.m. in a campaign event to support her father, according to a spokesman for Corey Stewart, whose been representing Trump in Virginia for nearly a year.

Updated

We’re told locally elected officials will participate in the Ivanka Trump event. We don’t know the names of the local politicians that plan to attend

News
Tim Kaine will stump for Clinton on Monday at George Mason University

Virginia State Senator Toddy Puller appeared Saturday with former Governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine to tout her record on working to improve the U.S. 1 corridor (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Tim Kaine will stump in Northern Virginia the day before Election Day. 

The U.S. Senator and Hillary Clinton’s Vice-Presidential running mate will come back to George Mason Univeristy in Fairfax on Monday. 

From the campaign: 

At his final rallies before Election Day, Tim Kaine will return home to campaign in Northern Virginia and Richmond, joined by Anne Holton, on MondayNovember 7Kaine will urge Virginians to make history on Tuesday by electing Hillary Clinton president and embracing an America that is stronger together, with an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. Kaine will also lay out how the divisive and dangerous views espoused by Donald Trump in his campaign make him unqualified, unfit and unworthy to lead this great nation. 

GOTV Rally at George Mason University with Tim Kaine and Anne Holton
When: 7:30 PM EST, MondayNovember 7, 2016
Doors Open: 5:30 PM EST
Where: George Mason University, North Plaza (adjacent to the Johnson Center), 4400 University Dr., Fairfax, VA, 22030

This is the second time Kaine has appeared George Mason’s Johnson Center during the 2016 campaign. He joined Clinton there in July for a rally prior to his selection as her running mate. 

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Prince William voters have their say on international TV, live from Manassas

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Veteran Sky News journalist Jeremy Thompson broadcast his nightly look at the U.S. Election from Jirani Coffeehouse on Thursday.

The Manassas coffeehouse served as the backdrop for a community conversation about the upcoming Presidential Election. A cross-section of Hillary Clinton supporters and Donald Trump die hards attended the event.

When questioned by Thomspon during his live “America Decides” broadcast that airs on Great Brittan’s widely-viewed 24-hour news channel Sky News, some at Jirani told the journalist that planned not to vote at all.

The audience gathered for the show which began at 8 p.m. U.S. east coast time and at midnight in the United Kingdom. The show lasted an hour., and the first portion of the show was displayed on a large TV screen inside the coffeehouse, while others streamed the second portion of the broadcast on their cell phones.

Thompson anchored the broadcast solely talking about the election, one of the most divisive in recent history, tossing to other Sky News correspondents fanned out across the U.S. who talked to U.S. residents to get their take on the presidential contest.

Thompson then fanned out across the coffeehouse while live on-the-air and asked audience members about who they planned to vote for, and why. Thompson asked questions about Clinton’s email scandal affects voters’ impressions of her, and how Trump’s consistent battering of the state of the federal government impacted federal workers’ opinion of the candidate, as many live in and around Manassas and work in Washington, D.C.

Sky News producer Kenneth Stewart contacted Potomac Local in mid-October informing us the international news network planned to visit Prince William County. His team of journalist took an interest in the locality because of its bellwether status, with a history of projecting who will win the White House based on the majority vote of the county’s electorate.

President Obama won Prince William County in 2008 and 2012 while President Bush won the vote here in 2004 and 2000. Trump visited the Prince William County Fairgrounds in December but, unlike in the past two Presidential Elections, Prince William County and much of Virginia has been ignored by the candidates as the Commonwealth was placed early into the Democratic win column.

Shifting poll numbers following the FBI’s announcement that it was reopening the Clinton email investigation has been good news for Trump. The Clinton campaign announced Thursday that running mate and Virginia U.S. Senator Tim Kaine plans to visit the state before the election on Tuesday. Reports also state the Trump campaign will swing back through the re-ignited battleground state before Election Day.

Stewart told Potomac Local that his team was interested in broadcasting “America Decides” from a downtown area where his team could speak with people on the street before the show to gauge their opinions on the Clinton-Trump battle. We put Sky News in touch with the Detra and Ken Moorman, owners of Jirani Coffeehouse, who decided to reschedule a weekly open-mic night to host the British broadcasters.

We tagged along with Sky News Social Media Producer Alex Bath as he fanned out across Downtown Manassas with cardboard cutouts of Clinton and Trump. Of those he interviewed on camera, those who planned to vote for Hillary Clinton were asked to stand next to the cardboard Trump to say why they thought he would not make for a good president. Trump supporters were asked to do the same next to a cutout of Clinton.

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Prince William GOP says Trump signs vandalized, calls on Dems to denounce actions

Minnieville Road near Telegraph Road
Corner of Dumfries Rd & Independent Hill Rd
Tudor Hall Estates near Manassas.

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Republicans in Prince William County say some Donald Trump campaign signs became targets of vandals. 

The Prince William County Republican Committee press release states signs at the intersections of Minnieville and Telegraph roads in Lake Ridge, and at Route 234 and Independent Hill Drive at Independent Hill were trashed. 

A mailbox at a home in the Tudor Estates neighborhood near Manassas was tagged with black spraypaint.

Prince William County Republicans today called on Hillary Clinton supporters and the Prince William Democratic Chairman to denounce the vandalism and attacks on free speech occurring to Republican property and campaign signs across the County. In response to the unusually high rate of vandalism, the Prince William County Republican Committee has filed police reports on 8 instances of stolen or vandalized property.

Instances of vandalism, threats and even violence has been a common occurrence across America during this year’s presidential election. Donald Trump signs have been burned, ripped and vandalized throughout the nation, a streak local party leaders and elected officials say is unprecedented. A Republican office in North Carolina was firebombed in October. Gainesville resident, Judy Beaty, experienced repeated vandalism and theft at her house this year. In Loudoun County, a Republican campaign office in Sterling received a threat.

 

 

 

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