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When Should Virginia Hold Primary Elections?

Voters are headed to the polls in a few weeks to cast their ballots in the November general election. But lawmakers and elected officials are already thinking ahead to the June primaries.

Parents and school board members across Virginia are worried about all those strangers coming in and out of their schools during elections. And Republican Delegate Steve Landes from the Shenandoah Valley has one potential solution — move the June primary to later in the month.

“If you have it on a day when schools are actually not in session, you know after most schools have already gotten out, it allows for more ease of use of the polling place from the registrars and the electoral boards standpoint.”

But what about voter participation? Democratic Senator Scott Surovell of Northern Virginia says moving the primary to later in June would be a terrible idea.

“From my point of view, pushing the date until after school is out means that a lot more people are a lot less likely to vote because that’s when families start going on vacations.”

Surovell says the best way to address school security is implementing gun control. He says moving election dates is a bunch of window dressing that would only be counterproductive.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.
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