JULY 28, 2021
President Joe Biden came to Virginia last week to endorse the
Democratic ticket of Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala and Mark Herring.
IN THIS ISSUE
  • Commentary: Ending Election Fraud
  • Latest Updates on COVID-19
  • Bulletin Board
  • What Can I Do?
  • Check your Calendar
COMMENTARY
Ending Election Fraud
My earliest experience in government and politics came when I was a senior in high school. Responding to rumors in the rural community where I lived with my parents that vote buying was going on, I did a research paper at the encouragement of my government class teacher who knew of my intense interest in politics to learn whether vote buying was taking place. I made an inquiry to the then-secretary of the State Board of Elections as to whether I could secure vote totals along with the absentee votes cast for all the jurisdictions in the 1950s. Much to my surprise he responded with the numbers, and I charted votes cast in total along with the absentee votes cast. What I found was what I had been told: In rural Page County where I lived and several counties in far Southwest Virginia the percentage of absentee votes cast in years when local officials were elected would be about one-third. In other jurisdictions including more urban and suburban areas, absentee votes would account for only one to two percent.

What was happening was that political workers in these counties, apparently of both parties, would go out to backroads and mountain hollows with absentee ballots for which they would approach voters with agreeing to pay their poll taxes that were required to vote at the time and promising who knows what others favors. The answer I received when I inquired of leaders of both parties as to why this illegal practice continued was that both sides were doing it and there was no one left to enforce the law!

The poll tax requiring voters to pay a tax three years in a row at least six months before the election was instituted in the 1902 Constitution with the avowed purpose of “cleaning up” elections, translated to mean keeping Black citizens and poor whites from voting. Along with the blank sheet voter registration and literacy test the number of registered voters was cut in half. The reform of the voting system had met its intended purpose of ensuring— without fraud—that only the “right” people voted.

Fortunately, these abuses of the electoral system were eliminated by a federal constitutional amendment and court decisions. With the outcome of the Virginia elections in 2019 a more progressive General Assembly and governor were elected who further modernized the electoral registration and voting system to make Virginia a leader in election reform. We have the most open and accessible system of government among the states.

For the dozens of people who emailed me (with few emails coming from my constituents) asking that I seek a “forensic investigation” of the outcome of the 2020 election in Virginia, I want to be clear that I will not seek such an investigation. President Biden won clearly nationwide, and he won by a landslide in Virginia. There is no credible evidence of fraud or irregularities. The entire election process in Virginia is monitored by persons of both parties. The “big lie” is just that. Those who propose election changes to enhance their chances of winning are the ones who are creating the fraud.
LATEST UPDATES on COVID-19
BULLETIN BOARD
Senior Cool Care
Senior Cool Care is a public-private partnership sponsored by Dominion Energy and administered by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services that helps low-income older citizens in Virginia keep cool during summer months. The program runs June 1 through the last working day in September and provides single room air conditioners or fans to elderly Virginians who live within Dominion Energy's service area and who meet eligibility requirements. Seniors must be 60 or older, be at or below 150% of the poverty level, and need additional cooling at home.
Volunteer at the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival 
September 10–12, 2021
More than 300 volunteers help make this event possible each year. Festival volunteers fill a variety of roles--each task is critical to the success of the event and would not be possible without your support! Volunteers as young as 13 years old are welcome to earn community service hours at this event. 
The Arc of Northern Virginia is Seeking Board of Directors Candidates
Each day, The Arc of Northern Virginia helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve a higher quality of life and sense of belonging in our communities. If you want to get involved in a variety of projects and help The Arc of Northern Virginia grow over time, this is the opportunity for you. If you’d like to learn more about opportunities to join the Arc's Board of Directors, contact Executive Director Rikki Epstein at repstein@thearcofnova.org.
WHAT CAN I DO? CIVIC INVOLVEMENT
Fairfax Countywide Strategic Plan
If you missed this week's virtual community conversation to share your thoughts on the countywide strategic plan, you can still give feedback.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Wednesday, July 28, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Community Housing Partners (CHP) Energy Solutions virtual event. Come learn about Community Housing Partners (CHP) Energy Solutions programs. These federally-funded and utility-sponsored programs provide NO COST home energy efficiency upgrades to income-qualifying households. Services include a Home Energy Audit, Health & Safety Check, Insulation, Air Sealing, LED Bulbs, HVAC Tune Up, and Low-Flow Fixtures. CHP makes homes healthier, safer, and more affordable. Register here.

Friday, July 30, 1:30 to 6:00 p.m., United Christian Parish Blood Drive, at United Christian Parish, 11508 North Shore Dr., Reston. The Inova Blood Donor Services Bloodmobile will be in the parking lot. Schedule your appointment. Download a flyer.

Friday, July 30, 6:30 p.m., the Town of Vienna Summer on the Green concert featuring Fat Chance, on the Vienna Town Green. More is at Summer on the Green.

Tuesday, August 10, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. or 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., FCPS "Parent to Parent: Managing Expectations for our Next Normal" webinar. Links to register are here.

Thursday, August, 12, 8:00 p.m., Vienna's Big Screen on the Green, featuring Disney and Pixar’s Onward, at Vienna Town Green. More is at Big Screen on the Green.

Saturday, August 14, 10:00 a.m., Gun Violence Awareness Vigil at National Rifle Association headquarters, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax. The vigil commemorates the anniversary of the day 26 children and educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Please DO NOT park in the NRA's parking lot. There is plenty of free parking in the office building lot on Fairfax Ridge Drive across Waples Mill Road. Signs and flags will be provided. Some protesters will drive past the NRA with signs taped to their car windows or doors; others will stand on the sidewalk.