Candidates and voters in home stretch of Virginia statewide and local elections

Virginia Elections

WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — We are down to the wire in the Virginia statewide elections. The races have been drawing enormous national attention. How are some of the voters in our region responding?

It is a statewide showdown with national implications. The national pundits are in overdrive with the off-year Virginia elections. So much is at stake for political power in the Old Dominion and implications for the 2022 midterms across the entire U.S.

For Andrea Wright of Winchester, though, the right to vote is not something she takes for granted, no matter the stakes.

“I always take the time to vote,” said Wright. “It’s very important for me to vote and I actually participated in the early voting.”

Paul Thomson has held public office in Winchester and agrees wholeheartedly about the importance of exercising one’s right to vote, but he said that the money in campaigns is toxic. He prefers restrictions on all the spending.

“I would prefer that we fund elections publicly through elected bodies, but that doesn’t seem to be generating too much interest,” said Thompson.

For Wright, voting is so fundamental to democracy she works to restore voting rights to those who have lost them because of run-ins with the law. Getting one’s life back on track, she says, means treasuring the precious freedom to choose our public officials.

“I am involved where a lot of people have been stripped of their right to vote. People with different felony charges, addiction recovery, for example,” said Wright.

As for Virginia’s campaign, Thomson wishes it had been less divisive over these past few months.

“I think we should vote for the candidates that will bring everybody together instead of splitting us apart,” said Thomson.

In the 2020 presidential race, President Biden carried Virginia by 10 points. If as close as predicted, counting the ballots could go well into the night or beyond. While Biden carried Virginia in the 2020 election, the latest public opinion surveys show his approval ratings have sunk to the low forties.

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