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Wednesday, March 22, 2023
FairfaxOpinionEditorial: Vienna Council deals with Democrats' shenanigans

Editorial: Vienna Council deals with Democrats’ shenanigans

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Having been royally hosed by Democrats in the General Assembly, localities like Vienna are now scrambling to divine how they will implement the legislative mandate, handed down on high from Richmond, that local elections be moved from the spring to the fall.

Town Council memberson Oct. 18 spent some time trying to figure out how to accommodate the mercurial fiat of the General Assembly.

To wit:

• Should they continue to elect half the council one year, half (plus the mayor) the next, or should they consolidate it so everyone is elected at once?

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• Should they try to ensure elections will be held on off years, so there is less chance of their getting lost in the shuffle?

• And should terms be lengthened or kept at their current two-year cycle?

No easy answers that we can see, although given the options on the table, we suggest: (a) keeping terms at two years; (b) moving to elect all six Town Council members and the mayor simultaneously; and (c) holding those elections in odd-numbered years, largely so they do not get jumbled up with the presidential races.

The most appropriate solution would be for next year’s General Assembly, which may (albeit also may not) look somewhat different from this year’s, to return choice to localities and allow them to run their elections in the spring as long has been the case.

The arguments for moving the elections to November were phony: The cost involved is a rounding error in terms of governmental expenditure. And the idea that more voter involvement is automatically a good thing? It is questionable at best, specious at worst.

Democrats forced the November elections on unwilling localities for a simple reason: Their belief, if perhaps a foolhardy one, that swaths of the Old Dominion are moving permanently into the “blue” political category, and thus the desire to have every election, from local-est of races to president, be viewed by voters through a partisan political lens.

We’ve got a feeling they are going to be surprised by the unintended consequences of their actions, but politicians are not always known for thinking things through to their logical conclusions, are they?

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