Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority. - William Jennings Bryan

Friday, December 30, 2005

2006 Virginia Legislation (And Local Caucuses)

I just found a very handy website, here, which tracks all legislation for the upcoming Virginia General Assembly session. I'm just now starting to digest all the information on here (of which there is a whole lot), but I found several bills I'm in favor of. Allow me to run over them quickly (all summaries from the LIS website):

HB 5: Trout Fishing, Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries to issue special permits for handicapped. Introduced by Del. Bill Carrico (R-5th)
Requires the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to issue permits to organized groups of physically or mentally handicapped persons to fish on the second Saturday in May in designated waters stocked with trout, without members of the group having to obtain individual licenses. This is emergency legislation.

HB 28: Methamphetamine; unlawful manufacturing and distribution, penalty. Introduced by Del. Bud Phillips (D-2nd)
Raises the punishment for a second offense of manufacturing, distributing, etc., of methamphetamine to include a one-year mandatory minimum term of incarceration and for a third or subsequent offense, increases the mandatory minimum term from three to four years. The bill also raises the penalty for a violation involving 200 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine from a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence to a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence.

HB 124: Farm produce; allows farmers to sell if they meet certain conditions, penalty. introduced by Del. Terry Kilgore (R-1st)
Allows the sale of food or food products without regulation provided sale occurs on a farm direct to the final consumer and products are marked "Not for Resale, Produced Without State Inspection." accordingly. Any person that resells such products shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

HJ 1: Constitutional amendment; Governor's term of office (first reference). Introduced by Del. Bob Purkey (R-82nd)
Permits the Governor to succeed himself in office. The amendment allows two four-year terms (either in succession or not in succession) but prohibits election to a third term. The amendment allows Governors elected in 2009 and thereafter to serve two successive terms. Service for more than two years of a partial term counts as service for one term.


SB 15: Criminal history records check; vendor to perform on transferee before sale of firearm, penalty. Introduced by Sen. Henry L. Marsh (D-16th)
Adds a definition of "firearms show vendor" and requires that a criminal history record information check be performed on the prospective transferee before the vendor may transfer firearms at a gun show. Under current law, only licensed dealers must obtain such a check.

SJ 15: Constitutional amendment ; restoration of civil rights for certain felons. Introduced by Sen. Yvonne Miller (D-5th)
Authorizes the General Assembly to provide by general law for the restoration of civil rights for persons convicted of felonies who have completed service of their sentence including any period or condition of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. The present Constitution provides for restoration of rights by the Governor. The amendment retains the right of the Governor to restore civil rights and adds the alternative for restoration of rights pursuant to general law.

You may notice I've picked three by Democrats, three by Republicans, and for a simple reason; good ideas come from both sides of the aisle.

Thoughts on these?

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VOTER REGISTATION

I have several questions perhaps someone can answer for me. I'll turn 18 on January 7th, which will be a Saturday. I intend to go register to vote on January 9th, first thing in the morning. That evening at 5:30, the city Democratic Committee meets to hold its caucus, to elect members. The requirement to be a member is this: 6 from each precinct (we have 4), and at-large members may also be elected, with a minimum of 28 total. So that works out to 24 from precincts, at least 4 at-large members. I happen to fall into the same precinct as the Sheriff, Vice Mayor, a senior city council member, and a powerful school board member. But, with 25 people showing up on average at meetings, I could run as an at-large member.
My question is this: How long does it take to be registered to vote? Will I be eligible at 5:30 pm if I register at 9:00 am? Or will I have to set this one out and wait until 2007?

-Neal

7 comments:

Adam said...

it takes 30 days I beleve. However I think you can g ahead and register now because you will be 18 by the next election cycle

Neal said...

Alright. Thank you. I'll call the registrar and see about it.

Kenton said...

I didn't know you had to register to vote to be on the committee...I know I'm not.

Neal said...

Hmm. Well that makes it sound more promising.

I have a call in to the registrar, but she probably won't call back until the 2nd.

Richard said...

Neal, I think you've got a few different ideas mixed together in your question.

The official published notices for attending and participating in a caucus will say something about voting for and supporting party candidates (I'm not at work, or I could quote you the specific language) but I'm pretty sure that doesn't have anything to do with actually being registered to vote in the same sense as the time requirement before voting in an election (the purpose of the document is to prevent ringers from an opposing political party from participating) or serving as an officer of a political committee or the caucus (generally, those types of requirements are set locally).

If you run, I wish you well: I think you'd do a good job.

AdamTolbert said...

You can register at any time throughout the year if you meet the requirements. The only place a deadline to participate comes in is if you are a newly registered voter and do not register before the closing of the books in a specific election. In that case, you cannot vote until the next scheduled election.

The registrar may be able to finalize your registration on the spot. Although, they may not be able to provide you with the voter registration card. I believe those are produced by the SBE in Richmond and mailed out.

Ask the registrar if he/she can register you effective immediately. The local registrars do have access to the VA voter registration database and can enter new voters from their office. They may be able to provide you with a printout showing you are registered.

Given it is a slow time of the year, unless there is a procedural bar, I don't think the registrar would have a problem registering you on the spot. Just let them know your concern about being registered on that day.

AdamTolbert said...

Just in case you haven't saw this, you can printout the registration form from the SBE web site here and complete it beforehand.

http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/documents/VirginiaVoterRegistrationApplication.PDF