Virginia Election Information
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Virginia House of Delegates Districts
Due to the late finalization of the 2020 census by the previous federal administration, Virginia is finally voting with its new redistricted districts for both the House of Delegates and the state Senate.
House of Delegates
All 100 districts in the House are up for reelection in November 2023 for two-year terms.
In the 2020 election, Biden won in Virginia by a strong margin of 10.1% with Virginia becoming a fully Blue state. Unfortunately, the state switched back to Red in 2021 with the election of a fascist governor.
In 2021 Democrats lost control of the House of Delegates and the Governor's mansion. The Republicans have been very busy turning over rights for voting, healthcare, education, and LGBTQ+. It's critical that the Democrats flip the 3 seats needed to regain control of the House and restore Virginia to a functioning Democracy.
All seats in the State Senate are up for election in 2023. It's critical that Democrats maintain control of the Senate. All seats have been redistricted.
Virginia Democrats' Accomplishments
Democrats controlled the Virginia legislature from January 2020 until December 2021, the first time since 1997. In one year of action, Democrats passed new laws that dramatically improved the lives of Virginians. A small sampling of these bills is below. Unfortunately, the Republicans are busy reversing the gains and taking aways rights and freedoms.
- The Voting Rights Act will protect voters against discrimination based on race, color or language. Any changes to voting rules by local election officials will have to go through a review process. (HB 1890, 2021)
- Absentee mail-in voting is now available to everyone, without requiring a reason. (HB 1, 2020)
- A permanent absentee voter list is established and voters automatically receive a ballot in the mail for every election. (HB 207)
- Drop-off boxes increased to make it easier to vote. (SB 1245)
- Photo ID no longer required to vote. (HB 19 and HB 213, 2020)
- Easier to register to vote
- Same-day voter registration will be allowed effective October 1, 2022. (HB 201, 2020)
- Citizens automatically registered through the DMV. (HB 235, 2020)
- Two bills set up a pilot program to institute ranked-choice voting in local elections. (HB 506 and HB 1103, 2020)
- Election day is now a holiday. (HB 108, SB 601, 2020)
- 16- and 17-year-olds allowed to pre-register to vote and automatically registered at18. (HB 2125, HJ 555 2021 Special Session 1)
- Public high schools are required to provide voter registration information to voting age students. (HB 1491, 2020)
- Restoration of voting rights for felons after completing their sentences. This proposed constitutional amendment has passed the General Assembly but must pass again in another legislative session (another reason to keep Democratic control). Then, the amendment goes to the voters. (SJ 272, HJ 555, 2021 Special Session 1)
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
- Death penalty, which disproportionately affects people of color, abolished. (HB 2263, 2021 Special Session 1)
- No-knock police searches banned, Breonna's Law. (HB 5099, 2020 Special Session 1)
- Limits the use chokeholds by the police. (HB 5069, 2020 Special Session 1)
- Mandates training for police on racial bias, de-escalation and crisis intervention. Requires psychological evaluation of a police officer before hiring. (HB 5109, 2020 Special Session 1)
- Sentencing of those convicted of crimes done by a judge instead of a jury, as in most other states. Juries in Virginia without sentencing guidelines often resulted in sentences longer than what a judge would give. (SB 5007, 2020 Special Session 1)
- Criminal records will be sealed for nine misdemeanor charges after seven years if no additional crimes. (SB 1339, 2021)
- The Virginia Clean Economy Act (HB 1526, 2020) was passed. This bill will create thousands of jobs, 29,000 in solar alone. In addition:
- Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power to be 100% carbon-free by 2045 and 2050 respectively.
- All coal plants to close by 2024.
- Establishes energy efficiency standards, with third party review of progress
- Reduces costs for low-income customers.
- Advances wind energy.
- Requires Dominion to prioritize hiring from disadvantaged populations, advances job training, environmental and fisheries harm reduction
- Advances solar and distributed generation, expands net-metering for rooftop solar, requires Dominion and Appalachian to develop 3100MW of energy storage capacity.
- Environmental justice is a big part of the VCEA as it reduces costs of energy and provides for solar options for for low-income people. It includes rate-payer protections, energy reliability, and transparency when plans affect communities/jobs.
- The Clean Energy and Community Flood Preparedness Act passed to provide cleaner air and sustainable, cleaner energy. (HB 981, 2020)
- VA joins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a carbon cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions in a manner that protects consumers. Last year’s Republican-led budget specifically prohibited VA from joining the RGGI, which provides millions in rebates to the state.
- Creation of a Virginia Community Flood Preparedness Fund to enhance flood solutions and coastal resilience.
- The Clean Car bill will improve fuel efficiency standards starting in 2025. (HB 1965, 2021)
- Protect workers against misclassification, presumed to be an employee unless the employer demonstrates otherwise. (HB 984, 2020)
- Prohibits retaliation against employees if a worker is misclassified the worker and employer fails to pay required pay or benefits. (HB 1199, 2020)
- Increases the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9.50 per hour on May 1, 2021, gradually increasing it to $12 by 2023. Additional provisions to increase to $15 by 2026 will require action from the General Assembly by July 1, 2024. (HB 395, 2020)
- Paid sick leave required for some essential workers. (HB 2137, 2021)
- Workers' comp benefits for health care workers who contract COVID. (HB 1985, 2021)
- Protection against "surprise medical billing." (HB 1251, 2020)
- The Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act allows consumers to control how their personal data will be used by large companies. (SB 1392, 2021)
Equal Rights Amendment – Virginia ratified the ERA, becoming the 38th state to do so. (HJ 1, 2020)
New bill (HB 980 in 2020) make abortion legally more accessible, eliminating medically-unnecessary obstacles.
- Eliminates the 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed.
- Eliminates required ultrasounds.
- Eliminates a mandated speech by providers to discuss abortion alternatives.
- Allows nurse practitioners to provide abortions in the first trimester.
Our ISSUE Reports AND MEDIA bundles
Read here for our latest in-depth research reports supporting Democratic state district campaigns.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE BUNDLE
Virginia Democrats are working to make communities safer by reforming the criminal justice system. Since the Democrats gained control of Virginia’s General Assembly in 2019, they have undertaken major criminal justice reforms. During the legislative sessions of 2020 and 2021, the General Assembly, with both the House and Senate under Democratic control for the first time since 1993, passed more than 20 criminal-justice reform bills.
Visit our Criminal Justice page for our Issue Report and Talking Points and for numerous creative assets to use in your social media feeds:
Criminal Justice Reform - Social Media Bundle
LABOR UNIONS IN VIRGINIA
In 2020, Democrats in the House of Delegates and Senate passed a number of progressive-oriented measures to expand voting rights, provide some sensible regulation on gun ownership, and guarantee a minimum wage increase. But in the area of labor unions, Democratic progress was tentative, limited to permitting (but not requiring) local authorities to engage in collective bargaining with unions representing public employees. Anti-worker right-to-work remains the law of the state and public employees continue to be banned from striking even if represented by a union.
WORKER MISCLASSIFICATION IN VIRGINIA
Workers in the U.S. are taken advantage of by being inaccurately labeled as independent contractors instead of as employees. The default classification for workers is to be employees; only if specific criteria are met can a worker be an independent contractor. Misclassified workers are generally paid less and lose many worker protections. Worker misclassification is a widespread problem in Virginia that harms workers, compliant businesses and the revenue streams of government. Thanks to the more worker-friendly Democratic-controlled general Assembly, Virginia workers now have more protections against unscrupulous employers.