- U.S. Navy to start giving gay couples marriage benefits in Japan
- Sen. Harry Reid goes to hospital as a precaution
- Fla.’s Trey Radel exits rehab, ‘excited’ to resume congressional role
- U.S. nuclear general boozed it up, chased ‘hot women’ in Russia: report
- 45 Calif. students at one school test positive for tuberculosis exposure
- Rob Ford on women: Give them cash ‘and they are happy’
- Ku Klux Klan group holds recruitment meeting in Maryland
- Airport assassination: Mayor, 3 others killed at Manila airport
- Tea party-type lawmakers take mysterious, off-books trip to Mideast
- North Korea warns South: We’ll attack ‘without warning’
Deeds, McDonnell see absentee vote as crucial
Question of the Day
Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates have been actively courting absentee voters — a crucial bloc that represented more than half the margin of victory when Republican Robert F. McDonnell defeated Democrat R. Creigh Deeds in the 2005 attorney general’s race.
As of Oct. 9, 46,246 people had voted early or requested absentee ballots — a figure elections officials say is roughly comparable to figures from the last gubernatorial election in 2005.
In their last matchup, Mr. McDonnell won the absentee vote by 180 out of 75,982 absentee ballots cast. Mr. McDonnell defeated Mr. Deeds by 323 votes out of 2 million cast statewide.
Identifying absentee voters has come a long way since then.
In the wake of the largest turnout in state election history for last year’s presidential elections, both parties are using comprehensive databases created by the national parties to identify people likely to vote for their candidate.
The Democrats have worked to identify and contact absentee voters who are Democrats and Democratic voters who are eligible to vote absentee but might not have voted in the past, Deeds spokesman Mike Gehrke said.
“Organizing absentee voters has come a long way from 2005,” Mr. Gehrke said. “We’ve adopted a lot of the Obama campaign and Virginia Democratic Party methods. … We expect to fare better than we did in 2005 with absentee voters.”
The Republican campaign has sent a letter from Mr. McDonnell and an absentee-voting request form to every Virginian known to have voted absentee in last year’s election, with a focus on military, Republican and independent voters.
“We know that Bob’s positive message of new jobs and more opportunities is the one Virginians are rallying behind. And we want to ensure that every Virginian has the opportunity to vote for this positive vision at the ballot box, no matter their schedule or commitments,” said McDonnell campaign spokeswoman Stacey Johnson. “Both Bob and his daughter, Jeanine, have served in the military, so they understand the importance for those serving our country overseas to have the opportunity to vote.”
Last week, a federal court ruled that the state violated the voting rights of military and overseas voters in last year’s presidential election by sending ballots without sufficient time for them to be returned on Election Day.
The state board is meeting Wednesday to determine how to implement the ruling, while at the same time adhering to state law that mandated ballots be received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.
“We are in unchartered waters when it comes to Virginia law, so we have to be mindful of what the court has ordered, but try to do it within the framework of Virginia code,” said Nancy Rodrigues, secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections.
Ms. Rodrigues said the state was prepared for the ruling, which was the second ruling pertaining to a lawsuit filed last year by the campaign of Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain and later taken over by the Department of Justice when a judge ruled the McCain campaign did not have standing to file the suit.
Gov. Tim Kaine earlier this year signed into law three bills aimed at ensuring that ballots make it into the hands of Americans overseas or military members stationed outside of Virginia.
The new laws contained the provision requiring ballots and in-person voting to be made available at least 45 days before the election for those who will not be able to come to the polls.
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Huge backlash mounts over suspension of 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Deportations under Obama plunged to just 1 percent last year
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Sebelius adds yet another exemption for Obamacare
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- EDITORIAL: Red faces at the White House
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- PRUDEN: 'Tis the season for apologies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Paul Rondeau exposes the propaganda, media tricks, and government policies that undermine our families, faith, freedom…and even life itself
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow