Complete guide to the 2016 general election ballot

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Voters exit the JCC Recreation Center, which served as a polling place for the presidential primary March 1, 2016. (Kirsten Petersen/ WYDaily)
Voters exit the JCC Recreation Center, which served as a polling place for the presidential primary March 1, 2016. (Kirsten Petersen/ WYDaily)

Election day is less than a week away and with an abundance of candidates and proposed commonwealth constitutional amendments this election’s ballot is more complicated than those of recent years.

More so than past years, an election guide is a must, which is why we’ve compiled a comprehensive ballot guide.

What you need to know about your polling station:

Polling places across the Historic Triangle are set to open Nov. 8 at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m., although if a registered voter is in line to vote at a polling place at 7 p.m. he or she will not be turned away, according to a York County Registrar’s office voice message.

Information about polling places in James City County, Williamsburg City, and York County can be found here.

Registered voters will need to prove their identity with acceptable photo identification as required by law such as a valid Virginia Driver’s License or ID card, a valid DMV issued veteran’s ID card, a valid United States passport or a valid college or university student photo ID card from an institution of higher education located in Virginia. For a complete list of acceptable forms of identification, click here

Voters are encouraged by local general registrars to research the candidates and the proposed constitutional amendments to help cut down on wait times.

Candidates (Left to right) John Bloom, Thomas Holston, and Del. Monty Mason at a League of Women Voters of the Williamsburg area forum on Oct. 13.
Candidates (Left to right) John Bloom, Thomas Holston, and Del. Monty Mason at a League of Women Voters of the Williamsburg area forum on Oct. 13.

What you need to know about the candidates for the 1st Virginia Senate District:

The winning candidate will represent the City of Williamsburg, parts of James City County and York County, and parts of Newport News, Hampton, and Suffolk in the upper house of the General Assembly.

Del. T. Monty Mason (D) elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2015 to the 93rd district as a democrat, works at Visa Inc., working with banks and their customers to prevent fraud. He lives in Williamsburg with his wife Pamela and their two daughters.

Thomas R. Holston (R) a former employee of the Hampton Police Department and Newport News Fire Department, retired from a career in public safety in 1990. Holston served on the Newport News Disability Board for 10 years and has worked with schools to increase their accessibility for handicapped youth. He has four children with his wife, Frances, who is a school teacher.

John B. Bloom (I) a nuclear and environmental engineer, ran as a Republican in the 95th House of Delegates District election in 2013, which he lost to incumbent Democrat Mamye BaCote. He is the ballot access coordinator for the Constitution Party of Virginia.

Profiles of the candidates can be found here. Past coverage of the candidates can be found here.

Heather Cordasco (R) and Mike Mullin (D) shake hands after the League of Women Voters of the Williamsburg area forum.
Heather Cordasco (R) and Mike Mullin (D) shake hands after the League of Women Voters of the Williamsburg area forum.

What you need to know about the candidates for the 93rd Virginia General Assembly Delegate District

The winning candidate will represent the City of Williamsburg, parts of James City County and York County, and parts of Newport News in the lower house of the General Assembly.

Michael “Mike” P. Mullin (D) is a criminal prosecutor and resident of Newport News. He received a bachelor’s degree from Christopher Newport University and a law degree from The Catholic University of America.  Mike and his wife Laura have three children.

Heather L. Cordasco (R)  is a group fitness instructor and personal trainer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Nyack College. Heather and her husband Carlo have three children. Heather served on the Williamsburg/James City County School Board from 2012 to 2015.

Profiles of the candidates can be found here. Past coverage of the candidates can be found here.

What you need to know about the candidates for the WJCC School Board Powhatan District:

The winning candidate will represent the Powhatan district on the Williamsburg-James City County School Board.

Lisa L. Ownby (I) is the director of operations at Landtech Resources, Inc. She is a mother of four children, three of whom are currently students in the WJCC district. She has professional experience in advocacy, policy, disability, and project management, according to the Ownby for WJCC School Board Facebook page.

Dot E. Matthews is an attorney with professional experience as a utility and legal analyst, reviewing corporation’s’ finances, and providing advice on the health of the company, according to the Dot Matthews for WJCC School Board Facebook page.

Past coverage of the candidates can be found here.

What you need to know about the candidates for the 1st Congressional District of Virginia: 

The winning candidate will represent Caroline, Essex, Gloucester, King George, King William, King and Queen, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Stafford, Westmoreland, as well as Fredericksburg city, and parts of Newport News city. Part of of Faquier, James City, Prince William and Spotsylvania counties are also included in the district.

Robert J. “Rob” Wittman (R) is the incumbent Congressman representing the 1st Congressional District of Virginia. He has served as Congressman since 2007, and has expressed intentions to run for Governor of Virginia in 2017.

M.D. “Matt” Rowe (D) is the democratic candidate for the 1st Congressional District of Virginia.

Glenda Gail Parker (I) is the independent-green candidate for the 1st Congressional District of Virginia. She previously ran for the congressional seat in 2014 and lost to incumbent Robert J. “Rob” Wittman.

What you need to know about the candidates for the 2nd Congressional District of Virginia: 

The winning candidate will represent Accomack and Northampton, York counties, the City of Williamsburg and parts of James City County. The district also includes all of Virginia Beach City and parts of Hampton, Newport News, and Norfolk Cities.

Del. Scott Taylor (R) is currently representing the 85th district in the House of Delegates. He has formerly served in the armed forces as a Navy SEAL. He was first elected in 2013.

Shaun Brown (D) is a business woman, community activist, and economist. She works at a global export firm.

What you need to know about the proposed Constitutional Amendments:

Constitutional Amendment 1 – Article I. Bill of Rights. Section 11-A. Right to work.

Question: Should Article I of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to prohibit any agreement or combination between an employer and a labor union or labor organization whereby (i) nonmembers of the union or organization are denied the right to work for the employer, (ii) membership to the union or organization is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or (iii) the union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any such enterprise?

The Law Code of Virginia has reflected right to work legislation since 1947. It is illegal to deny employment to a nonmember of a labor union or other organization. It is illegal to make membership in a labor union or other organization a condition of employment or continuation of employment. It is illegal for a labor union or other organization to acquire an employment monopoly in any such enterprise. Right to work legislation has been in effect in Virginia for 69 years, but it is now on the ballot to be added into the state Constitution. Only 9.24 percent of Virginians, or 774,423 citizens, were alive before this legislation became law in 1947.

A vote in favor of the Amendment will enshrine current right to work legislation into the state’s Constitution. A vote against the Amendment will not add the legislation into the Constitution, but the legislation will remain in effect.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment 2 – Article X. Taxation and Finance. Section 6-B. Property tax exemptions for spouses of certain emergency services provider.

Question: Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow the General Assembly to provide an option to the localities to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel who was killed in the line of duty, where the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence and has not remarried?

The Constitution of Virginia requires the General Assembly to exempt from taxation the real property, including the joint real property of husband and wife, of any veteran with a 100 percent service-connected, permanent service-connected, permanent, and total disability, as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the real property of the surviving spouse of an eligible veteran. The tax exemption applies only to the residence of the eligible veteran or of the surviving spouse, and the exemption no longer applies if the surviving spouse remarries, according to a Virginia Department of Elections news release.

The proposed constitutional amendment would allow the General Assembly to provide an option to the localities to give the real property of the surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel who was killed in the line of duty, a tax exempt status dependent on if the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence. If the surviving spouse remarries, the tax exempt status ceases.

Past coverage on the proposed constitutional amendments can be found here.

 

What you need to know about the presidential candidates:

Electors for President and Vice President are on the ballot as registered voters and will elect members to the electoral college. Presidential candidates are not voted for directly. Candidates are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot. If you’re uncertain about which candidate’s views align with your own political views, here’s a free election questionnaire to help you in your decision.

Democratic Party Electors for

Hillary Clinton, President (D) is a former Secretary of State, former Senator from New York, and the first American First Lady to win elected office. She is the first woman presidential nominee from a major political party.

Tim Kaine, Vice President (D) is a Senator from Virginia, and former Governor for Virginia. He is a former chairman of the Democratic National Party.

Republican Party Electors for

Donald J. Trump, President (R) is a billionaire real estate developer and television personality from New York.  He is best known for the redevelopment of the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City in 1980.

Michael R. Pence, Vice President (R) is the Governor of Indiana. He is a former six-term Congressman from Indiana.

Libertarian Party Electors for

Gary Johnson, President – is a former Governor of New Mexico. He was the owner of a large construction firm in New Mexico. He was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of Cannabis Sativa, Inc.

Bill Weld, Vice President – is a former Governor of Massachusetts. He is a former United States Assistant Attorney General for the criminal division as well as United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

Green Party Electors for

Jill Stein, President – is a former medical doctor of internal medicine. She has previously been a member of the town council in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Ajamu Baraka, Vice President – is an international activist. He was the founding executive director of the U.S. Human Rights Network. He is currently an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.

Independent Electors for

Evan McMullin, President – is a former operations officer at the Central Intelligence Agency. He is a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs. He was most recently the chief policy director for the house republican conference.

Nathan Johnson, Vice President – is a “placeholder” candidate according to the McMullin Campaign. He is listed as Vice Presidential candidate for ballot access purposes.

Note: This story has been updated to reflect recent redistricting changes in the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts. According to sample ballots provided by the City of Williamsburg, James City and York counties, the 1st Congressional District no longer includes the City of Williamsburg and the 2nd Congressional District now represents the City of Williamsburg and the entirety of York County. James City County is split between the two districts.