For voters in Manassas City, what’s old is new again.
The city will use optical scanner voting machines starting with the November 2017 Election. The machines will use paper ballots, then will insert them into the ballot machine to be counted.
“If a recount is needed, the paper ballot allows us to determine the true intention of the voter,” said Manassas City General Registrar Susan Reed.
City officials budgeted $95,000 for the new voting machines, which will replace the old touch-screen voting machines placed into use in 2000, and older pull-lever machines. The purchase of the new machines will probably cost more than what is budgeted, said Manassas Electoral Board Secretary Patricia Fields.
A state mandate that requires localities the switch back to paper ballots makes the machines a must-do purchase. The state does not supply funds for the purchase, she added.
Reed and members of the city’s Electoral Board had two machines on display at Monday night’s City Council meeting. The Board is testing devices from two vendors — one in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania.
The vendor that is awarded the contract for the machines will also be responsible for printing custom ballots for each election. The information on the ballots will be reviewed by the Electoral Board, as well as the candidates listed before printing.
Last year, Prince William County made the switch to optical scanning machines. The printed ballots listed the full names of candidates. However, some candidates said they would rather have their nickname on the ballot instead.
Ultimately, the county decided not to reprint ballots. In Manassas, Reed said the information that will appear on city ballots next year would come directly from the State Office of Elections.
The new machines could be in the city as early as Jan 1. Afterward, the Electoral Board aims to hold a series of public meetings to demonstrate how the new optical scanning machines work.
The City Council on Monday night also
approved reviewed the proposed creation of the city’s sixth voting precinct. The council is expected to approve the new precinct in 2017, after the 2016 Presidential Election.
Rising population in surrounding voting precincts is the driving force behind creating the new polling area. Voters in the new precinct will vote at George C. Round Elementary School, which is not currently being used as a polling place.
Voters will be notified by the General Registrar’s office if their polling place changes.
The average population for a voting precinct is about 4,000 residents. The Weems Precinct is the exception to the rule with about 4,300 registered voters.
With less development planned in the Weems Precinct than other in city precincts, Fields said she isn’t concerned about the higher number of voters in Weems.
The time has come to change the name of the Godwin Middle School voting precinct in Dale City.
When elections officials strip the Godwin name from the voting precinct, it will be the last trace of Mills E. Godwin in Prince William County Public Schools, the former Virginia Governor Dale City’s first middle school was named after.
The Prince William County School Board voted unanimously on March 2 to change the name of the school to the Dr. George Hampton Middle School, in honor of a local philanthropist. Officials argued that the name of Godwin, who supported segregation of schools and later supported integration when he was governor, had no place on a school building in Prince William County.
From Prince William County documents:
The name change is expected to cost taxpayers $1,700 to cover the costs of new signage, maps, and mailing notices to residents about the name change.
Mailers notifying residents of the precinct change must be sent to voters 15 days before the election, according to county documents. State law requires any precinct name change be completed 60 days before the election.
The name change is expected to come before the Board of Supervisors in July.
The Prince William County Electoral Board will meet Thursday, June 23 at 2 p.m. at the Main Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Avenue, Suite 1 in Manassas.
Dana Reinboldt hopes to recapture her seat representing the Griffis-Widewater Distict on the Stafford County School Board.
She announced her candidacy today in a special election to be held Nov. 8, 2016 to replace Emily Fallon who resigned earlier this year after allegations surfaced that PTA funds at Moncure Elementary School went missing while Fallon was PTA president.
Here’s Reinboldt’s press release:
Stafford, Virginia –Wednesday, June 15, 2016—Dana Reinboldt of Stafford, has announced her candidacy for the Griffis-Widewater School Board Seat in the Special Called
election on November 8, 2016.
“I’m excited about the potential opportunity to once again represent the citizens of Griffis- Widewater. I believe it is crucial for our district to have a strong and effective voice on the School Board. The citizens of our community deserve a committed representative, with integrity, working on their behalf. My experience as an elected school board member will permit me to provide Griffis-Widewater residents immediate, effective representation.
I have lived in the Griffis-Widewater District of Stafford County for the past 28 years with my husband, John. My 3 children all attended, and graduated from Stafford County Public Schools. I have 24 years of extensive experience as a parent and a volunteer in Stafford County Public Schools.”
Reinboldt served on the School Board in the Griffis-Widewater seat from 2004 to 2015. Fallon beat Reinboldt in a November 2015 General Election with 1,235 votes to Reinboldt’s 961, according to the Stafford County Voter Registrar’ s Office.
Melissa Y. Ayres earlier this month was appointed to represent the Griffis-Widewater District as the area’s School Board member. Reinboldt sought the temporary appointment given to Ayres, she said.
Manassas Democrats have forged what they call a unified ticket of candidates running for City Council this fall.
Incumbent Manassas City Councilman Mark Wolfe was elected to the City Council in 2008 as a Republican. Wolfe opted to file for reelection for the GOP and decided to run as a Democrat.
Correction: Statement from Mark Wolfe sent via email after we published this post:
“The section about my having $900 in campaign donations from Republican donors is inaccurate.
In fact I had closed and zeroed out my campaign account after the 2012 election.
The data shown: http://www.vpap.org/donors/193983-mark-wolfe/ reflects a person donation TO Scott Lingenfel[t]er I made in 2010.”
Also on the Democratic ticket is incumbent Manassas City School Board member Pam Sebesky. She has served on the School Board for the past six years.
Political newcomer Rex Parr rounds out the Democratic ticket. He retired last year as the CEO of Didlake, Inc.
Sebesky and Parr tell us all three candidates are running on a platform of safer and better neighborhoods, and better schools, and to add a new fire station to the city’s southside to improve fire crew response times.
They also told us the city has not had a comprehensive strategic plan since 2003. That is something they want to change.
On the Republican side, Ian Lovejoy, Jonathan Way, and Theresa Coates Ellis round out the ticket.
Voters will head to the polls Nov. 8.
Elections officials in Prince William County want more people to vote absentee.
The Office will hold an information session Saturday, June 11, 2016, at 9 a.m. at the Prince William County Government Center McCoart Building.
The primary goal of the session is to show why we must get a high number of voters to vote absentee to effectively reduce the number of voters in line on Election Day.
The second goal of the session is to educate everyone on the many ways voters are eligible to vote absentee by mail.
Officers of Election who serve on Election Day at your precincts will also be in attendance.
— Michele L. White, Director of Elections & General Registrar, Prince William County
Yes, audience members will be shown a power point. Here’s a sneak peak.
Voters in Prince William County during the Presidential Election four years ago were plagued by long lines. They stood in line for hours to vote.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be in Manassas on Friday to sign into a law a piece of legistlation dealing with the Freedom of Information Act
SB645, the exempt records concerning critical infrastructure information bill, introduced by freshman Sen. Jeremy McPike defines what exactly is “critical infrastructure” information.
The bill comes after several state agencies have asked major corporations, to include railroads, utility companies, and cyber security providers for information about how it plans to respond to national security threats or attacks.
Those organizations have been less than forthcoming when it comes to providing that information, a McPike spokeswoman said, because of fears the secure information would appear on a public website, and that information falling, ultimately, into the wrong hands.
McAuliffe is expected to sign the bill into law at 12:30 p.m. Friday during a visit to Micron Technologies, located at 9600 Godwin Drive in Manassas.
Submitted News Manassas & Manassas Park Democrats announce nomination process for 2016 local elections
The Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee (MMPCDC) has scheduled assembled caucuses to nominate Democratic candidates for Manassas and Manassas Park races in the November 8, 2016 General Election.
Specifically, the MMPCDC seeks to nominate Democratic candidates for mayor and city council in each city and for Manassas City treasurer (subject to a special election for that office being placed on the November 8 ballot). In each city, three city council seats and one mayoral seat are up for election this November.
Candidates who seek the Democratic Party nomination for any of those offices must submit a completed Declaration of Candidacy form and a $250 filing fee to the MMPCDC by Friday, May 27 at 5 pm. Complete details–including the Call to Caucus, the Declaration of Candidacy form, and the Caucus Rules-are posted on the MMPCDC website, manassascitydemocrats.com.
If more than one candidate for any elected office should properly file for the Democratic nomination by the May 27th deadline, an assembled caucus will be held to select the nominee. The caucuses for Manassas City nominations are scheduled for Monday, June 6, 7:00 pm, at Manassas City Hall, 9027 Center St, in the first floor Council Chambers.
The caucuses for Manassas Park nominations are scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, 7:00 pm, at the Manassas Park Police Station, 329 Manassas Dr, in the 1st floor conference room. For both sets of caucuses, the doors will open at 6:30 pm for check-in and close promptly at 7:00 pm. Voting will be open to all registered voters from the respective city who sign a standard Democratic declaration form and arrive for voting before 7:00 pm.
If the number of qualified candidates who file for a race by the May 27 deadline does not exceed the number of available seats, the Chair may declare those candidates to be the Party’s nominees and cancel the respective nominating Caucus. If there are no contested races for any seat, the Chair may cancel the Caucus entirely. A notice of all such caucus cancellations will be posted on the MMPCDC website by May 27 at 7:30 pm. For more information, call 571-358-9893 or visit http://www.manassascitydemocrats.com/?p=1258.
Corey Stewart is running for governor in 2017.
He’s positioning himself as a Donald Trump-like candidate who will say whatever he wants, who means what he says, and, if elected, does what he means. Stewart since December has led the effort in Virginia to get Trump elected, serving as his statewide campaign coordinator — crisscrossing the state campaigning for the billionaire.
Many have said Stewart aligned himself with Trump to be a better-looking candidate, as the ideal conservative for an eventual run for the state’s highest office. They were correct. (more…)
Susan Edwards is running for a seat on the Haymarket Town Council.
Voters will head to the polls on May 3, 2016, for a General Election for Haymarket Town Council. Edwards is one of eight candidates seeking a seat on Town Council, including incumbent Mayor David Leake. (more…)
Elizabeth “Liz” Quist seeks to keep her seat as Mayor of Occoquan in the May 3, 2016 General Election.
Quist won the seat in 2014 running unopposed. She replaced Earnie Porta who last fall went on to mount an unsuccessful campaign for Occoquan District Supervisor on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.
Quist served as Vice Mayor prior to serving as Mayor on the Occoquan Town Council.
We sent Quist a candidate survey as part of our Project: Election series. Here are her responses: (more…)
Jim Drakes, 52, is an incumbent on the Occoquan Town Council, and he’s running in the May 3, 2016 General Election to keep his seat.
The Northeast Pennsylvania native says he’s enjoyed his time in the riverfront town, and that the Occoquan River should be utilized more so than it is already.
We sent Drakes and all candidates running for office in Occoquan for the General Election a survey as part of our annual Project: Election coverage. Here are Drakes’ responses: (more…)
Jonathan Torres, 32, is running to become the next Mayor of the Town of Occoquan.
He’s running against incumbent Mayor Liz Quist.
Torres said traffic is an issue in the tiny riverfront town. And so is taxes and businesses, according to the candidate.
Potomac Local sent a questionnaire to Torres as part of our annual Project:Election series for the upcoming May 3, 2016 towns elections in Prince William County. Here are his responses: (more…)
Chris Morris hopes to keep his seat on the Haymarket Town Council.
Voters elected him back in 2014. They will head to the polls again on May 3, 2016, for a General Election for Haymarket Town Council. Morris is one of eight candidates seeking a seat on Town Council, including incumbent Mayor David Leake.
We sent a candidate questionnaire to the incumbent Morris and posted his responses below. (more…)
Charles Brewer is running to keep his seat on the Dumfries Town Council.
He is one of five candidates seeking a seat on the Town Council. Voters will head to the polls May 3, 2016 to cast their votes.
We sent a questionnaire to the incumbent and he responded with the following statements: (more…)