Rockingham County

Rockingham County

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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.

6th Congressional District

Member of the House of Representatives

  • About the Race

    This congressional election is held on November 3, 2020, and shares a ballot with the U.S. presidential election. Nicholas Betts (D), a legal clerk and businessman faces incumbent congressman Ben Cline (R), a lawyer and business owner.

    About the District

    The 6th congressional district of Virginia covers the west-central portion of the state. It contains all of Amherst, Augusta, Bath, Botetourt, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren counties, as well as parts of Bedford and Roanoke counties. It also includes the independent cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Staunton, and Waynesboro. The 6th congressional is one of Virginia’s most reliably Republican districts and has voted Republican for over twenty years. Incumbent Ben Cline won his seat in 2018 with almost 60% of the vote.

    Recommendation

    Democrat Nicholas Betts moved to the state to attend Virginia Commonwealth University, where he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He later earned a law degree from Washington and Lee School of Law. He works as a law clerk for a firm in Roanoke and is married to his college sweetheart, Lindsey Betts. They have no children.

    Betts believes in providing a public option for health insurance but doesn’t want to get rid of private health plans. He wants to increase federal funding for education to raise teacher pay, hire more teachers, and expand early education programs. Betts believes that the federal government could mitigate the student loan debt crisis by offering 0% interest loans to students, fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and adjusting federal bankruptcy law to benefit student loan borrowers. Betts supports expanding access to voting in the Commonwealth.

    One thing he wants to do to address the climate crisis is offer tax credits for the development of solar and wind energy projects. Betts wants to expand internet access to every American, decriminalize marijuana, and pass federal laws to prevent discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. Betts believes the country should have universal background checks on gun purchases and a tax on ammunition. Betts is calling for the development of a federal training program for police officers to keep our communities safe.

    Betts is running against Republican incumbent Congressman Ben Cline who was first elected to office in 2018. An ally of President Trump, Cline served in Virginia’s legislature as a Delegate from 2002 to 2018. During his tenure, Cline opposed abortion rights, advocated to expand gun rights, refused to expand Medicaid coverage to low-income Virginians, and attacked immigrant families.

    Due to Rep. Cline’s staunchly conservative background, Nicholas Betts is the progressive choice for Virginia’s 6th Congressional District.

    Nicholas Betts

    About the Race

    This congressional election is held on November 3, 2020, and shares a ballot with the U.S. presidential election. Nicholas Betts (D), a legal clerk and businessman faces incumbent congressman Ben Cline (R), a lawyer and business owner.

    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