Bell Sounds from the 20th - October 23, 2014

We are less than 2 weeks away from the General Election.  While still a tough fight, Ed Gillespie is making headway and gaining in the polls just in time for Election Day.

President Obama came out just this week and said that although he may not be campaigning with Senate candidates, you can be sure that all of the Democrats in the Senate fully support his agenda.  They say that past performance is the best predictor of future results. Given that Mark Warner has voted with the President 97% of the time, we can be certain the President’s statement applies to Senator Warner.  

While Ed Gillespie is running on a strong positive message of support for policies that will create economic growth, he will need our help to get him across the finish long. It’s not too late to get involved with the campaign by going door to door, volunteering at our local headquarters or giving your time on Election Day.  

Additionally, I would like to provide you with some information that you may find useful as you prepare to head to the polls on November 4.

Absentee Voting

If you are going to be away on Election Day, it is not too late to vote absentee. You can vote in person absentee at your local registrar's office during normal business hours.  In addition, for the convenience of voters the registrar’s office will be open on Saturday, October 25 and Saturday, November 1 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm for in person absentee voting.    

You can also still vote absentee by mail, though you must act quickly.  Tuesday, October 28, 2014 is the last day in which an absentee ballot can be mailed.  If you have specific questions on voting absentee, either by mail or in person, I would encourage you to contact your local registrar’s office.   I have put the contact information for the registrars in the five localities in the 20th House District at the bottom of this email.

For more information on absentee voting, please click here     

New Voter ID Requirements

It is important to note that effective July 1, 2014, a photo ID is now required for voting in Virginia.  Voters must present one of the following acceptable forms of identification:

*Valid Virginia Driver’s License                   

*Other government-issued photo identification card

*DMV-issued photo identification card                  

*Valid United States Passport                     

*Valid college or university student photo identification card (issuer must be an institution of higher education located in Virginia

*Valid employee photo identification card

If you do not have an acceptable form of identification please contact your local voter registration office for a free ID.

For more information on the new photo ID requirement in Virginia, please click here.

Constitutional Amendment on the Ballot

As many of you may already be aware in addition to voting for our Senator and Congressman, Virginians will also have the opportunity to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment. 

The question on the ballot will be:  

Shall Section 6-A of Article X (Taxation and Finance) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow the General Assembly to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any member of the armed forces of the United States who was killed in action, where the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence and has not remarried? 

The proposed amendment would authorize the General assembly to exempt from taxation the real property of any surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States who was killed in action, as determined by the U.S. Department of Defense.  The exemption from taxation would cease if the surviving spouse remarries.  The exemption would apply regardless of whether the spouse was killed in action prior to the effective date of this amendment but would apply only to those real property taxes to be paid on or after the effective date of legislation passed by the General Assembly.  The exemption from taxation would apply to the surviving spouse's principal place of residence, even if he or she moves to a new principal place of residence.  The exemption would not require the surviving spouse to have been residing in the Commonwealth at the time his or her spouse was killed in action.

Legislation exercising the authority granted to the General Assembly in the proposed amendment was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor McAuliffe on April 7, 2014, but will become effective only upon approval by the voters of the proposed amendment.

As you may remember, in 2010 Virginians voted to amend the constitution to allow a property tax exemption to any veteran who has been determined by the United States Department of Affairs to have one hundred percent service-connected permanent and total disability.  The amendment we will vote on this year would allow the General Assembly to extend that same property tax exemption to the surviving spouses of a veteran that was killed in action. 
 

When I vote on November 4, I will be voting “yes” on this proposed amendment.  I hope that you will review the information above and give the proposed amendment your full consideration.  For more information on the amendment, including the complete language of the amendment, click here. 

Contact Your Local Registrar

Augusta County     (540)245-5656

Highland County    (540)468-2013

Nelson County       (434)263-4068

Staunton City        (540)332-3840

Waynesboro City   (540)942-6620

Contact

I always enjoy hearing from many of you regarding the issues that matter most to you. You can reach us by email at deldbell@house.virginia.gov, or by phone at 540-448-3999.

You can also reach us by mail at Post Office Box 239, Staunton, Virginia 24402.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your delegate

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