With approximately 745,000 residents, Virginia’s fifth congressional district covers all or part of Greene, Campbell, Bedford, Albemarle, Nelson, Fluvanna, Buckingham, Cumberland, Appomattox, Prince Edward, Charlotte, Lunenburg, Franklin, Henry, Pittsylvania, Halifax, Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Fauquier, Rappahannock and Madison Counties, as well as the independent cities of Bedford, Charlottesville (main site of the University of Virginia) and Danville, making it Virginia’s largest district with an area of 10,181.03 square miles, larger than New Jersey and Vermont.

Governor McAuliffe Announces Crowdsourcing Initiative to Map Broadband Access in Virginia

Are you online? Do you wish you had better prices, a faster connection or more choices for Internet service at home or in your business?

Beginning June 1, if you are in need of Internet service and would like to log your demand, visit RUOnline.virginia.gov. If you are unable to access the website at home, you can visit your local library or call toll free at (877) 969-6685.

Governor McAuliffe Statement on Republican Lawsuit to Preserve Voter Disenfranchisement

Commonwealth of Virginia

Seal of Virginia

Office of Governor Terry McAuliffe

 

For Immediate Release
May 23, 2016
Contact: Brian Coy, Brian.Coy@Governor.Virginia.Gov

Governor McAuliffe Statement on Republican Lawsuit to Preserve Voter Disenfranchisement

 Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement after Republicans in the General Assembly filed a lawsuit to preserve Virginia’s policy of disenfranchising ex-felons who have served their time and completed supervised release:

“Today Republicans filed a lawsuit to preserve a policy of disenfranchisement that has been used intentionally to suppress the voices of qualified voters, particularly African Americans, for more than a century. These individuals have served their time and are now living, raising families and paying taxes in our communities  — this suit is an effort to continue to treat them as second-class citizens. This legal action would also take Virginia out of the overwhelming majority of states that restore the rights of people who have served their time and completed supervised release.

“As Virginia’s foremost constitutional scholar has concluded, the Constitution of Virginia grants the Governor ample authority to restore the rights of people who have served their time, and does not place any limitation on that authority that would be relevant to the issue at stake in this lawsuit. This is simply the latest Republican attack on the voting rights of qualified Virginians who deserve a voice in their society, and we will oppose it vigorously.”

What is VoteBuilder?

What is VoteBuilder?

VoteBuilder is an online database that contains two sections. “My Voters” which contains information about every registered voter in the state and “My Campaign” which allows political parties and candidate campaigns to track and manage their volunteers. VoteBuilder is exclusive to Democratic organizations and is used by every State Democratic Party and Democratic candidates ranging from Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign to local races. This standardization across states and campaigns has given Democrats an enormous advantage over other political parties for several reasons: existence of a large user base familiar with VoteBuilder; data is no longer kept in silos walled off, not easily accessible to others; since VoteBuilder went national in 2007 Democratic Parties and campaigns have been putting data into the system regarding voter’s candidate preferences; constituency issue data is stored which has helped create finely tuned models of political preferences and voting behaviors. Most importantly, VoteBuilder cuts down on the time a candidate committee would have to spend acquiring data allowing them to spend precious time on other campaign activities.

Why should you use VoteBuilder instead of a paper list or a locally created database?

VoteBuilder is updated monthly with data obtained from the Board of Elections which has up to date registration information on all Virginia voters, including the 461,000± voters registered in the 5th District.

VoteBuilder contains voting history information for Virginia’s General, Primary, Presidential Primary, and Municipal elections in one easy to search place.

Years of collecting Survey Responses from voter contact have helped create the “Likely Party Model” contained in VoteBuilder which classifies Virginia voters as a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. There is no other database available in Virginia that makes this classification as accurate as VoteBuilder.

VoteBuilder contains data enhancements such as additional phone numbers, address corrections, and certain consumer information that is not available from the Virginia Secretary of State or local lists.

VoteBuilder organizes your data in a secure place that can be accessed anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.

VoteBuilder allows you to save the lists you create and share them with other users digitally.

How do I get VoteBuilder?

Virginia VoteBuilder is available to all Democratic Candidates and committees through the State Party (DPVA). If you are a candidate, please contact votebuilder@vademocrats.org for pricing information. If you are a local committee member, please contact your local chair.

Is training available?

Yes! The 5th District Tech Team can provide hands-on training at your location. Please contact your local chair for more information.

“I’m proud to be your nominee”

Jane Dittmar accepts 5th District nominationWhen I took the stage on Saturday to accept the Democratic nomination, I took a moment to think about all the folks who have helped us get this far. I am so grateful for your support and proud to represent our party in this election. We have an incredible opportunity this year to win back our Congressional seat and use it to really help people all across the district.

Can you help us kick-start the general election with a contribution today?

We have a lot of work ahead of us. Over the next six months we’ll need to reach thousands of voters by phone, at their doors, through the mail, and at community events. They need to hear our plans to bring good jobs back to the 5th by investing in workforce training and broadband infrastructure. We need to ask for their votes on November 8th. That’s why I’m asking for your help today.

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Gratefully,

Jane

Virginia State Board of Elections Streamlines Voter Registration

Virginia Department of Elections

For Immediate Release
April 28, 2016

For More Information:
Martin Mash 804.864.8941
Martin.Mash@Elections.Virginia.Gov

RICHMOND, VA – On April 28, 2016, the State Board of Elections (SBE) voted to adopt a new Virginia Voter Registration Application and amend existing regulations related to processing these forms. The new form and regulations make it easier for eligible Virginians to register to vote and ensure qualified military members and their families are notified of their special voter registration rights in Virginia.

Revisions to the form and regulations are in response to months of public comments and recent statutory changes. Since May 2015, the Department has gathered feedback on form revisions from members of the public, registered voters, nonprofit organizations, legislators, and election officials. After taking these comments into account, and incorporating recommendations from usability experts and field tests of the form by Virginia voters, the Department presented a more voter friendly form and regulations that provide clearer processing instructions to general registrars. Further the new form and regulations ensure that qualified military members and their families are able to take advantage of the special status granted by the legislature allowing them to register to vote up to and including Election Day. Commissioner of Elections Edgardo Cortés said, “I am pleased that the State Board has taken action to adopt a new voter registration form that makes it easier for eligible Virginians to vote.”

The changes will also be incorporated in the Department’s Citizen Portal. The Citizen Portal is a quick and easy online voter registration tool for Virginia voters to submit their registration application without concern for delays. In addition to registering to vote, Virginians may visit the Citizen Portal to update their voter registration information, locate their polling place, or request an absentee ballot. The Department’s Citizen Portal is available at http://elections.virginia.gov/citizen-portal/index.html.

Dittmar Campaign Fundraising Surpasses Quarter Million Mark

Jane Dittmar for Congress

JANE DITTMAR CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCES FUNDRAISING TOTALS SURPASSING QUARTER MILLION MARK

Charlottesville, Virginia (April 14, 2016) – Jane Dittmar’s congressional campaign today announced that 1st quarter fundraising totals surpassed the quarter-million mark. With over 600 individual donors, contributions ranged from $5 to $5,400.

“Thank you, thank you to every single one of our contributors who has supported this campaign,” Dittmar said. “This fundraising number is a reflection of the immense support that our campaign and our message have received since our September launch. We have been fortunate enough to work with incredible Democratic committees, community leaders, and others who have helped us get the word out. We look forward to continuing to listen to the people of the 5th as we continue our work.”

The campaign continues to reach district residents through meet & greet events, fundraisers, committee meetings, and community events. Dittmar recently spoke at the Rappahannock Democrats’ Blue State Bluegrass Brunch and the campaign has events planned in Farmville, Chatham, and Henry County in the coming weeks. The campaign has been holding round table advisory meetings to gather information on important topics such as veterans’ affairs, the environment, citizen safety, foreign policy, healthcare, and more.

Dittmar will work to improve the economic infrastructure in the district so that everyone in the 5th can have the opportunity to build a strong future for themselves and their families. “I’m running for Congress because I believe that everyone in our district deserves to be connected to opportunity,” Dittmar said. “Equal opportunity for success starts with a good education and continues with a good job to provide for your family.”

Dittmar plans to put her mediation skills to work in Washington to bring together different opinions to find solutions to the challenges that we face here in our district, in Virginia, and as a nation. Dittmar intends to work with local, state, and federal governments in order to connect Virginia with the new economy by harnessing the funding and resources that are already available in Washington. Dittmar will be formally nominated as the Democratic candidate at the 5th District Convention on May 7th.

How ‘ghost corporations’ are funding the 2016 election

Lawmakers gather along with lobbying groups for a press conference in 2014 to discuss a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
Lawmakers gather along with lobbying groups for a press conference in 2014 to discuss a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

Advocates for stronger campaign-finance enforcement fear there will be even more pop-up limited liability corporations (LLCs) funneling money into independent groups, making it difficult to discern the identities of wealthy players seeking to influence this year’s presidential and congressional contests.

The 2016 campaign has already seen the highest rate of corporate donations since the Supreme Court unleashed such spending with its 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision.

One out of every eight dollars collected by super PACs this election cycle have come from corporate coffers, including millions flowing from opaque and hard-to-trace entities, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal campaign finance filings.

Why Is It So Hard to Vote in America?

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a landmark piece of legislation designed to protect a principle of American democracy: equality at the ballot box. But in some states, access to voting is becoming less and less equal. In the aftermath of a controversial 2013 Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to draft their own voting laws, voter ID requirements have become increasingly common across the country. Critics of these laws say that millions of Americans who don’t have the necessary identification—a disproportionate number of whom are low-income, racial minorities—now face excessive barriers to voting.

The Atlantic’s Vann R. Newkirk II breaks down what these laws look like across the country and what they might say about the state of American democracy.

Authors: Greyson Korhonen, Catherine Green