The Democratic Party’s eight-year hold on the Governor’s Mansion is coming to an end, and with it the service of more than 100 Electoral Board members statewide.
In Arlington, that transition will occur late next year.
Under state law, all of Virginia’s 130-some electoral boards are comprised of two members of the party of the governor, the third member coming from the out-of-power party. For the last eight years, that has meant two Democrats and one Republican on each electoral board.
But the election of Glenn Youngkin means changes are coming, with the next Democrat whose term expires on each electoral board being replaced by a GOP member. Nominations, usually several, are made by the local political parties, with the final decision resting with the Circuit Court in each locality.
In Arlington, Electoral Board Chairman Matthew Weinstein will be the first of two Democrats whose term will expire. Come Dec. 31, 2022, he will be replaced by a Republican who will join vice chairman Kim Phillip (a Democrat) and secretary Scott McGeary (a Republican) on the panel.
It will be the first party switcheroo on the Electoral Board since 2014, when Republican McGeary was replaced by Democrat David Bell after Democrats won the governorship from Republicans a year before.
(McGeary returned to the body in 2016, succeeding fellow Republican Allen Harrison Jr., who retired after a 29-year tenure.)
In general, members of the Arlington Electoral Board have worked collegially through the years, with little partisan division – something that apparently is not always the case across the commonwealth.
Electoral Board members serve three-year terms and under state law are paid a relatively nominal amount, although each body’s secretary earns about twice what the other members make due to more responsibilities.
Under state law, the chairman and secretary of any local electoral board must come from different parties.