Voting, districts and more issues
I have compiled a list of important dates pertaining to the November Elections. Early voting began Sept. 17 and ends Oct. 30. Oct. 12 is the deadline to register to vote or update existing registration. Oct. 22 is the deadline to request an absentee ballot be mailed to you. Must be received in Registrar’s Office by 5 p.m.
There are 5 Early Voting Locations in the 59th District, located at your counties registrar’s office.
Albemarle County Registrar’s Office is located at 1600 5th Street Ext, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Operating hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and their phone number is (434) 972-4173. Appomattox County Registrar’s Office is located at 367 Virginia Avenue, Appomattox, VA 24522. Operating hours are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and their phone number is (434) 352-5302. Buckingham County Registrar’s Office is located at 13360 W James Anderson Hwy, Buckingham, VA 23921. Operating hours are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and their phone number is (434) 969-4304. Campbell County Registrar’s Office is located at 774 Village Highway, Rustburg, VA 24588. Operating hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and their phone number is (434) 332-9579. Nelson County Registrar’s Office is located at 571 Front Street, Lovingston, VA 22949. Operating hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and their phone number is (434) 263-7190.
You can also visit https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation to register, check your registration status, find your polling location and apply to vote absentee.
Last week, members of Virginia’s Redistricting Commission got their first look at two sets of maps that now cover all Northern Virginia and account for one-third of Virginia voters. On Monday, map drawers presented their statewide maps for the House and the Senate, and the Commission will spend the next two weeks working on both maps to build a single statewide map for both sets of Districts by Oct. 10.
The best resource is the Virginia Public Access Project portal- https://www.vpap.org/updates/599-vpap-redistricting-portal/. Here you can check how your district will change under both maps by your address. You can also visit www.virginiaredistricting.org for more information on upcoming Redistricting Commission meetings.
The first findings of the JLARC report on the fiasco at the Virginia Employment Commission are in, and they are not pretty. The Executive and VEC failed to do proper planning and didn’t adapt like other states did. They received no support from other state agencies, as counterpart agencies in North Carolina and Ohio did.
JLARC also attributes the issues to the failure to modernize the computer system used by the agency. The three-phase project was started in September of 2009. Terry McAuliffe assumed responsibility in January of 2014, when Phase 3 was already underway. Phase 3 languished for the entirety of Terry McAuliffe’s term, and for the entirety of Ralph Northam’s term. It’s not scheduled for completion until next year.
The governor failed to waive state employee hiring requirements to get more people on board quickly. The problems are still endemic. As of this quarter, VEC is still only processing 26% of first-time payments within its standard benchmark of 21 days. As of June, only 2% of adjudicated cases are being resolved within the standard benchmark of 21 days.
VEC is still dealing with a backlog of 100,000 cases in need of adjudication; the lawsuit didn’t solve the problem. As many as 1 million cases eventually will need adjudication. Appeals are taking an average of 275 days, double the U.S. average of 125 days and nine times longer than the standard benchmark of 30 days.
VEC is making incorrect payments between 40 and 45% of the time. That is an estimated $930 million in incorrect payments. While fraud is a concern, it makes up only 1.4% of overpayments.
VEC is only answering 4% of calls to its customer service line as of June. The average wait time is 10 hours.
If you are having issues contacting the VEC, please reach out to my office and staff with help assist.
Del. C. Matthew Fariss represents Buckingham in the Virginia House of Delegates. His email address is DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov.