- Army’s 3-D printed bombs will create ‘a whole new universe’ of deadly capabilities
- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns Israeli shelling of shelter in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
- U.S. chemical sites vulnerable despite millions spent on security: Congress
- Driverless cars to hit the British streets by 2015
- GOP presses to scrap IRS commissioner position — but put in panel
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.
TWT Video Picks
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Proving A Point: Redskins' Bacarri Rambo vows to make impact in second year
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world