Dogwood Daily: Student turnout could tip scales in Virginia elections
By Davis Burroughs
October 15, 2019

Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all of today’s Virginia news coming right up. And if you’re a fan, please forward to three friends who need to know what’s going on in the Commonwealth and tell them to subscribe here

But first …

Virginia Beach native Pharell Williams is bringing his Something in the Water music festival back to his hometown for a second edition this Spring. The festival runs from Monday, April 20 to Sunday, April 26, 2020, doubling the duration of the inagural event.

Five things you need to know today …

  1. More student absentee ballots could indicate higher turnout in Virginia: Nearly 11,000 students have applied for absentee ballots this year, according to the Virginia Department of Elections, more than double the number of absentee ballots received in 2015, the last time all 140 seats were up for reelection in the Virginia General Assembly. “Using absentee voting is a good indicator of potential turnout, and if you look at previous elections and compare it to today there has been an increase in this election and overall,” Commissioner Christoper Piper said. The increase could be associated with higher numbers of competitive races in these elections — there are 30 this year, Piper said. -Associated Press

  2. Blue wave faces its first test after 2018: Democrats are on the cusp of turning Virginia into an all-blue state, which would cement Virginia’s relatively swift transition from red to purple to blue. At the beginning of George W. Bush’s presidency in 2001, Republicans held the governorship, the legislature, and both U.S. Senate seats; by the start of next year, the GOP may have lost all of the above. A Democratic trifecta, control of the governor’s office and majorities in the state House and Senate, would give the party the power to enact new restrictions on guns, protect the state’s expansion of Medicaid, and reverse Republican gerrymandering and redraw electoral districts for the legislature and Congress for the next decade. -The Atlantic

  3. Kaine, Warner introduce ‘Virginia Beach Strong Act’: Virginia’s U.S. senators have introduced a bill to provide financial relief to the families of the victims of the Virginia Beach mass shooting. Democrats Kaine and Warner filed the bill in the Senate, which accompanies a House version of the bill introduced by Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) in September. The bills would encourage donations to the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund by making them tax-deductible. -WFLA

  4. Seven statues unveiled at Virginia Women’s Monument on Capitol Square: The long-awaited Virginia Women’s monument was unveiled Monday. Erected on a granite platform just below the Capitol, the monument features seven life-size bronze statues of Virginia women surrounded by a Wall of Honor bearing the names of 230 prominent Virginia women etched on glass, with room for more names to be added in the future. Five more statues will also be added. The women chose for the monument thus far represent more than 400 years of Virginia history, from Indian chief Cockacoeske to Elizabeth Keckley, a seamstress who bought her freedom and became the dressmaker for Mary Todd Lincoln. -Richmond Times-Dispatch

  5. State officials tour Virginia to cut down on maternal mortality rates: Virginia government officials are touring the state this fall to hear concerns from residents over the crisis in maternal mortality for African American women. In Virginia, black women are two to three times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women. The listening tour aims to dig up answers on what’s behind this troubling inequity in matenral health outcomes. -WVTF

A chart before you go …

2019 Virginia Legislative Election Survey – Judy Ford Wason Center
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