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Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd

The Virginia Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. All research in this guide was conducted in August of 2020. Please share this guide with your friends and family.

Federal

President and Vice President

  • Our country is facing several unprecedented crises all at once. The COVID-19 pandemic, police brutality, and racism are just the tip of the iceberg of the problems we need to tackle head-on. The 2020 Presidential race comes at a defining moment in our history, and this is a pivotal election that will decide the fate of America for generations to come.

    Joe Biden was the 47th Vice President of the United States, serving in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017. He represented the state of Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009. During his time with the Obama administration, he was an influential adviser to the President, helping usher in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a monumental reform to America’s healthcare system where 20 million Americans gained health coverage. Biden also oversaw infrastructure spending under Obama’s stimulus package response to the 2008 recession and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

    If elected President, Biden has pledged to codify Roe V. Wade, restore federal funding to Planned Parenthood, and repeal the Hyde Amendment. His response to the coronavirus pandemic involves widespread, free testing, and the distribution of a vaccine with no out-of-pocket costs. Biden wants to make affordable healthcare available to more Americans by strengthening the ACA and offering a public option for health coverage. Biden believes that gun violence is a public health crisis and plans to ban the manufacture and sale of assault rifles and high capacity magazines, close loopholes that allow guns to get in the wrong hands, require background checks for gun sales, and institute red flag laws.

    Biden’s platform to address climate change involves embracing central components of the Green New Deal––getting the world to net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 and aligning environmental and economic policies. He announced a $2 trillion plan to invest in clean energy while creating economic opportunity and strengthening infrastructure.

    Biden also pledged to restore the Voting Rights Act. As a U.S. Senator in 2006, Biden co-sponsored legislation to renew key sections of the Voting Rights Act. It was signed by then President George W. Bush.

    Biden plans to address economic inequality by increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, increasing affordable housing, ending discrimination in the housing market, investing in transportation, protecting tenants’ rights, boosting the power of unions and workers’ rights to collectively bargain, and checking corporate power over workers.

    Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, is the incumbent and Republican nominee. He won the 2016 election by capturing a majority of votes in the electoral college votes while losing the popular vote by 3 million votes. In 2020, Trump was impeached for requesting foreign assistance in the 2016 election. During his time in office, he attacked affordable healthcare by attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, overhauled the U.S. tax system to benefit the richest one percent of Americans and wealthy corporations, and took away Title IX funding for Planned Parenthood. He appointed conservative judges to the judiciary who are hostile to abortion rights, denied amnesty to thousands of immigrants fleeing violence from Central America, attempted to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protected young immigrants from deportation, sided with racists during times of racial upheaval in our nation, and completely botched the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Due to Trump’s racism, attacks on immigrants, attempts to take away healthcare, and proven inability to lead our nation, Joe Biden is the clear progressive choice for the 2020 Presidential election.

    Joseph Biden

    Our country is facing several unprecedented crises all at once. The COVID-19 pandemic, police brutality, and racism are just the tip of the iceberg of the problems we need to tackle head-on.

    Last updated: 2020-10-29
  • Senator Kamala Harris is the first Black woman and South Asian American woman to be nominated for Vice President of the United States by a major party. As the daughter of immigrants, Harris’s groundbreaking nomination is a win for people of color. She was elected to represent California in the U.S. Senate in 2016, before that she was Attorney General of California. As a Senator, Harris serves on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget.

    During her time in the Senate, Harris became known for grilling Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Attorney General William Barr during their confirmation hearings. 

    Harris blames the Trump administration for the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. 
    Harris believes that the federal government should respond to the coronavirus pandemic by giving Americans $2,000 monthly stipends while banning evictions, utilities shutoffs, foreclosures, and rent increases. She signed onto the Masks For All Act, which would provide free masks to Americans at no cost. Harris introduced legislation that would establish a task force to address health inequities made apparent by pandemic. She also believes free and widespread testing should be available. 

    Harris supports a $15 minimum wage for working families. While in the Senate, Harris worked to repeal Trump’s 2017 tax breaks for the richest one percent through her legislation called the LIFT Act, which would cut taxes for the working class and lift 9 million people out of poverty. Harris also introduced a bill to help Americans with housing by offering 13.3 million families tax subsidies to afford rent. Harris received a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO. She also introduced legislation to strengthen the rights of public sector workers and their right to collectively bargain. 

    While in the Senate, Harris co-sponsored the Medicare for All Act of 2019. During her run for President, she proposed a 10-year transition plan for universal coverage where private insurers would be allowed to compete provided they follow certain rules. As candidate for Vice President, Harris supports Joe Biden’s plan to strengthen the Affordable Care Act by offering a public option.    

    In response to the police murder of George Floyd, Harris introduced with other Senators the Justice in Policing Act, legislation that would bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants, set national standards to hold police officers accountable for misconduct, prohibit racial profiling, and established a national data collection system on police misconduct.  

    Kamala Harris

    Senator Kamala Harris is the first Black woman and South Asian American woman to be nominated for Vice President of the United States by a major party. As the daughter of immigrants, Harris’s groundbreaking nomination is a win for people of color.

    Last updated: 2020-09-10
Other Candidates

Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, is the incumbent and Republican nominee. He won the 2016 election by capturing a majority of votes in the electoral college votes while losing the popular vote by 3 million votes. In 2020, Trump was impeached for requesting foreign assistance in the 2016 election.  During his time in office, he attacked affordable healthcare by attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, overhauled the U.S. tax system to benefit the richest one percent of Americans and wealthy corporations, and took away Title IX funding for Planned Parenthood. He appointed conservative judges to the judiciary who are hostile to abortion rights, denied amnesty to thousands of immigrants fleeing violence from Central America, attempted to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protected young immigrants from deportation, sided with racists during times of racial upheaval in our nation, and completely botched the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump’s running mate is Vice President Mike Pence, a yes-man to Donald Trump who co-chairs the administration’s failed response to the coronavirus. As Vice President, he advocated for repealing the Affordable Care Act.  Pence is known for his discrimination against the LGBTQ community by opposing same-sex marriage, and advocating for gay conversion therapy. He praised a Trump administration rule that allows adoption agencies to discriminate against gay couples. When Pence was Governor of Indiana, he signed a bill that enacted some of the strictest abortion restrictions in the country. The bill was later ruled to be unconstitutional. 

The Liberatian Party has nominated Jo Jorgensen for President and Jeremy “Spike” Cohen for Vice President. Jorgensen is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Clemson University. Cohen owns a podcast platform. The ticket’s platform includes radically reducing the size of government, turning America into “one giant Switzerland,” reducing environmental protections to increase coal and oil production, and eliminating the federal Department of Education.

Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris are the clear progressive choices for the 2020 Presidential election. 

U.S. Senator

  • Democrat
  • About the Race

    This election occurs on November 3, 2020, and shares a ballot with the US presidential election. Current Senator Mark Warner (D), who has also served as the governor of Virginia, will be running against Daniel Gade, a retired Army Lt. Colonel who worked in the Trump administration.

    About the State

    Every eligible Virginia voter may cast a ballot in the US Senate election. Virginia saw an incredibly high turnout in 2016, with 72% of registered voters turning out to vote, more than 15% higher than the average US voter turnout. Virginia usually sees more than 70% of registered voters turn out for presidential election years.

    Recommendation

    Incumbent Democrat Senator Mark Warner has represented Virginia as United States Senator since 2008. Before his election to the Senate, he served as Virginia’s Governor from 2002 to 2006. In the Senate, Warner is the Vice Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and he also serves on several other committees.

    Warner is known for his service on the Intelligence Committee in investigating and condemning Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. He is also a fierce advocate for protecting the country’s electoral process. Warner sponsored legislation that was supported by representatives on both sides of the aisle to prevent foreign meddling in elections and promote greater transparency in online political advertising. In 2020, Warner voted to convict President Donald Trump and remove him from office at the end of the Senate impeachment trial.

    In 2019, Warner joined other senators in introducing the Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore and strengthen the original 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2020, he called on the Senate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell failed to bring it up for a vote.

    Sen. Warner voted against the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. He opposed a federal abortion ban and believes that abortion is a constitutionally-protected right.

    Warner wants to invest in infrastructure projects to create jobs and boost the economy. During his time in the Senate, Warner has pushed for increased federal spending on transit, water improvement projects, and airports in the Commonwealth. In 2020, Warner championed the Great Outdoors Act to bring federal relief to the country’s national park system, which would bring over 10,000 jobs to Virginia alone.

    Warner joined other Senators in lambasting the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. During the coronavirus pandemic, he has pushed for more funding for testing supplies and PPE while also supporting the expansion of Medicaid and Medicare coverage to more Americans. Warner has pushed for increased broadband access so more people can use the Internet during the pandemic to work from home and attend school.

    Warner’s opponent, Daniel Gade, is a U.S. Army veteran and professor at American University. Gade supports cutting taxes, reducing the size of government, promoting economic deregulation with free market policies. He believes that the U.S. economy should re-open as quickly as possible during the pandemic. Gade has said he approves of President Trump’s performance so far.

    Due to his record of service supporting abortion rights, healthcare access, the environment, and protecting our democracy, Senator Mark Warner is the more progressive choice to represent Virginia in the U.S. Senate.

    Last updated: 2020-10-09

Congress

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.

2nd Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

  • About the Race

    This election shares a ballot with the US Presidential election held on November 3, 2020. Incumbent Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D), a US Navy veteran, faces Scott Taylor (R), a former Navy SEAL who previously held the seat from 2017 to 2019.

    About the District

    Virginia’s 2nd District covers a large portion of Hampton Roads, including the entirety of the cities of Virginia Beach and Williamsburg and parts of Norfolk and Hampton. It also encompasses all of Accomack, Northampton, and York counties. The district has changed hands several times since 2008 at all levels and is considered one of Virginia’s most competitive congressional districts. Luria won the seat by 2.5% in 2018, a margin of just over 6000 votes.

    Recommendation

    Democratic incumbent Representative Elaine Luria is seeking re-election in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. A 20-year Navy veteran, Luria was first elected to represent the 2nd District in 2018. As a Naval officer, she served in the Iraq War and was deployed to Japan, the Middle East, Mediterranean Sea, and the western Pacific. She is married with one daughter. Luria retired from the Navy in 2017 and started a small business called The Mermaid Factory in Virginia Beach.

    Luria serves on the Veterans’ Affairs and Armed Services committees in the House of Representatives. Most of the legislation she filed during her term focuses on veterans’ affairs. In 2019, Luria voted for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which restored key sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act legislation.

    She supports abortion access and believes the federal government should continue to fund Planned Parenthood. She supports closing the gender wage gap by implementing equal pay and taking action to combat maternal mortality in the U.S.

    Luria voted to expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to cover more families during the coronavirus pandemic and believes that no one should be denied health insurance for having a pre-existing condition. She also condemned the Trump administration for attempting to dismantle the ACA and called on the Justice Department to reverse its position in a lawsuit meant to repeal the ACA. She called on the government to regulate prescription drug costs and to increase funding for mental health services.

    As Representative from the district where the 2019 Virginia Beach shooting occurred, Luria voted to implement universal background checks and voted for the Keep Americans Safe Act, which would ban the sale of high-capacity magazines. She supported passing red flag laws that would keep guns out of the wrong hands and banning assault rifles.

    Luria voted for the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and give more than 100,000 workers in her district a raise. She advocated for protections for small businesses, fisheries, and agricultural industries in coronavirus pandemic relief packages. Luria co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2019 to close the gender wage gap. She voted to impeach Donald Trump in 2019.

    Luria is facing a challenge from former Congressman Scott Taylor, who represented the 2nd District from 2017-2019. During his term, Taylor voted in line with President Trump to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to give the richest one percent and wealthy corporations tax breaks. A staffer from his 2018 re-election campaign was found guilty of election fraud for forging voter signatures.

    Independent candidate David Foster is also challenging Luria. Foster opposes abortion rights and wants to cut taxes. Foster wants to prohibit sanctuary cities and supports Trump’s border wall. Foster also believes that a photo I.D. should be required for voting. He has published conspiracy theories on his website and believes that a lot of our healthcare problems could be solved by legalizing marijuana.

    Due to Taylor’s staunch support of Trump and his attacks on healthcare and Foster’s opposition to a person’s right to decide when, how and whether to have children, Luria is the most progressive choice for the 2nd Congressional District in Virginia.

    Representative Elaine Luria

    About the Race

    This election shares a ballot with the US Presidential election held on November 3, 2020. Incumbent Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D), a US Navy veteran, faces Scott Taylor (R), a former Navy SEAL who previously held the seat from 2017 to 2019.

    Last updated: 2020-09-10

3rd Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

  • About the Race

    This election shares a ballot with the US Presidential election held on November 3, 2020. Incumbent Virginia politician and longtime incumbent, Congressman Bobby Scott (D), is running for re-election against John Collick (R), a retired Marine Sergeant and small business owner.

    About the District

    Virginia’s 3rd congressional district stretches across parts of Hampton Roads and encompasses all of the cities of Franklin, Newport News, and Portsmouth, as well as all of Isle of Wight county. It also contains parts of the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Suffolk. In 2012, the 3rd district was found to have been unconstitutionally gerrymandered based on race. It was redrawn for the 2016 elections to exclude parts of Richmond which had previously been included in the district. The district is reliably Democratic, even since redistricting. Bobby Scott ran unopposed for re-election in 2018, and Senator Tim Kaine won the district with 70% of the vote.

    Recommendation

    A lifelong statesman, Democratic Representative Bobby Scott has represented Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District since 1993. Before his election to federal office, Rep. Scott was a member of the Virginia Senate from 1983 to 1993 and the House of Delegates from 1978 to 1983. When he was first elected, Scott was the first African-American to represent Virginia in Congress since Reconstruction. He grew up in Newport News, but moved to Massachusetts for his education after Virginia schools closed instead of integrating after the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. There, he attended Harvard College and Boston College Law School.

    Rep. Scott is the Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and also serves on the House Judiciary Committee. During his tenure, Scott has consistently advocated for labor rights.

    In 2020, he sponsored the “Protecting to the Right to Organize Act,” which was passed by the House. The PRO Act strengthens workers’ rights to strike, collectively bargain, form unions, and have better working conditions. Scott sponsored legislation to protect all workers from COVID-19 and to help laid-off and furloughed workers keep their job-based insurance during the pandemic. In 2019, he championed the “Raise the Wage Act” to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

    Scott co-chairs the Voting Rights Caucus. He has called on the federal government to protect the integrity of the elections during the pandemic and to end voter suppression. He also supports restoring the Voting Rights Act.

    Although a supporter of a single-payer healthcare system, Scott worked with members of Congress to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. He co-sponsored legislation in 2020 to protect the ACA from the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle Obamacare. His bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act, sought to expand Medicaid coverage so more Americans are insured during the coronavirus pandemic, lower the cost of prescription drugs, and reduce health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

    As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Scott has regularly introduced legislation aimed at criminal justice reform. He co-sponsored the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act” in response to the police murder of George Floyd. His legislation bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants, sets national standards to hold police officers accountable for misconduct, prohibits racial profiling, and establishes a national data collection system on police conduct. Before his 2020 efforts to reform the criminal justice system, Scott co-sponsored the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective (SAFE) Justice Act in 2015 and 2017. The SAFE Justice Act was a comprehensive reform aimed at reducing the country’s prison population by cutting mandatory sentence minimums, reducing recidivism, stopping overcriminalization, and using evidence-based crime prevention strategies.

    Representing an area that is experiencing the effects of climate change firsthand with rising sea levels, Rep. Scott supports the Green New Deal. He has co-sponsored bills that increase federal investments in renewable energy spending and opposes offshore oil and gas exploration in Virginia and throughout the nation’s coasts. Congressman Scott also voted to impeach Donald Trump in 2019.

    Rep. Scott is facing a challenge from Republican John Collick. A Marine veteran, Collick is a conservative who opposes abortion access. Collick is convinced that the government will confiscate guns from citizens and opposes an assault weapons ban. He believes that America should do more to control immigration into the country by placing biometric controls on people entering the U.S. He also supports using public money to pay for private education.

    Due to his record serving the people in his district and fighting for their rights, Rep. Bobby Scott is the most progressive candidate for Virginia’s 3rd District.

    Last updated: 2020-09-10

Constitutional Amendments

Virginia Redistricting Commission Constitutional Amendment

  • VOTE NO
    Vote NO on this Flawed Amendment
  • We all deserve free and fair elections so that all of us can make our voices heard with equal power in our communities. But for years, conservative politicians have been doing everything they can to hoard power and ensure that they get re-elected no matter what the people want. They’ve done this by rigging district maps to dilute the power of communities of color and prevent people from making their voices heard. This November, there will be a constitutional amendment on the ballot that enshrines in our state constitution the power of politicians to pick their voters instead of allowing voters to choose their representatives. We need to vote no on this political bait and switch and ensure that the power stays with the people, not power-hungry politicians.

    About the Amendment
    This amendment gives the power to draw political maps to a commission made up of politicians and people hand-picked by politicians. They will draw the maps, and then members of the General Assembly will vote to accept or reject them. This amendment does not remove politicians from the process. The amendment also fails to adequately protect people of color in the constitution, instead relying on separate legislation that could be repealed, jeopardizing civil rights protections.

    We deserve a truly independent commission to ensure fair and equitable redistricting. Vote no on this amendment to put the power back in the hands of the people and keep politicians from choosing their voters instead of the other way around.

    About the Decision
    We can’t get clean elections with dirty maps drawn by politicians more interested in protecting their power than ensuring our voices are heard in our democracy.  We need to give the power back to the people and remove politicians from the process of drawing political boundaries completely. We can create a commission of concerned voters and nonpartisan experts who can draw fair, compact districts that ensure communities of color are protected, and everyone can make their voice heard equally.

    Amending the constitution is a big deal, and if we’re going to do it, we need to make sure we are getting it right. We don’t have to accept a flawed amendment or nothing at all. We can go back to the drawing board and ensure that what we are enshrining permanently in our constitution is fair, just, equitable, and gets us the results we want. Leaders in our community such as Congressman Donald McEachin and Congressman Bobby Scott know that this amendment is the wrong move. 


    The most progressive approach to redistricting is to vote NO on this flawed amendment and demand better to simultaneously protect historically underrepresented communities and draw fair district lines by including strong, specific, and clear rules to protect communities of color.

    Virginia Redistricting Commission Constitutional Amendment

    We all deserve free and fair elections so that all of us can make our voices heard with equal power in our communities. But for years, conservative politicians have been doing everything they can to hoard power and ensure that they get re-elected no matter what the people want.

    Last updated: 2020-10-26

Exemption for Disabled Veterans Constitutional Amendment

  • No Position
    No Position: Motor Vehicle Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans
  • This tax exemption will exclusively benefit veterans residing in Virginia who have a disability 100% connected to their service.

    This amendment was proposed by Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and was approved unanimously in the Senate and near-unanimously in the House. It will grant a property tax exemption for a single vehicle to disabled veterans whose disability is 100% connected with their service. There have been calls to limit the maximum value of cars that may be included in this exemption or limit the exemption based on the veteran’s income, which would be addressed later through legislation in the General Assembly.

    Virginia Association of Counties and the Virginia Municipal League (VML) both objected to this exemption because they believed that property tax exemptions should remain under local jurisdiction and not be mandated by the General Assembly. The VML argues that because localities do not decide to declare and send soldiers to war, the financial responsibility for caring for them should fall not on localities but on the federal government.
     

    Last updated: 2020-10-07