How should you vote in the Virginia Democratic or Republican primaries on June 13th?
With appropriately low expectations:
The ridiculous notion that voting is a primary driver of social change needs to be thoroughly done away with and a focus put on urgent nonviolent activism of all types, including acting to decrease the dangers of war and environmental destruction.
With appropriate seriousness:
Not to the same extent as U.S. House districts, but still to a great extent, Virginia House of Delegates and city council and Commonwealth’s Attorney primaries can effectively be the general election because of the inevitable victory of one or the other of the two big parties. Yet more people will vote in the pointless general election than will vote in the primaries in which an actual decision is made.
With proper preparation:
Bring a photo ID. Ask to vote on an actual piece of paper. In those polling places where you are not permitted to vote on paper, register a complaint. If forced to vote on a machine, point out to the Democrats that they cannot both claim the things are verifiable and claim that Vladimir Putin is altering your vote. Also point out that rigging primaries has not been working out well for them and should probably be avoided. You can make similar points to the Republicans, but I recommend voting in the Democratic primaries. You have to choose one or the other. When you do so, you do not have to join a party or commit to voting for anyone in the general election or promise to believe everything you’re told by MSNBC or Fox respectively.
Tom Perriello was a terrible Congressman. You should vote for him for governor. I say this because he has by far the better platform, including on the environment, and because his war-promoting militarism does not impact his job as governor. There is the decided problem that Virginia governors tend to become U.S. Senators. But Virginia’s U.S. Senators currently support and fund every war they can. A Senator Perriello would be the status quo. A Governor Perriello would be a decided improvement and possibly stop some fossil fuel pipelines. Making that happen will, of course, require more than electing Perriello. Sufficient public pressure will be needed to see it through, as Perriello’s record is one of ultimately bowing before the leaders of the Democratic Party.
For Lieutenant Governor:
There are three Democrats, of whom only one has a website proposing a useful platform: Susan Platt.
For local races, I turn now to Charlottesville. If you live elsewhere in Virginia, you can find your own.
Ross Mittiga has by far the better platform, including on the environment.
For City Council:
Three Democrats are running for two seats. I recommend voting for only one of them: Bob Fenwick. He has been a more small-d democratic council member than others. He has been a strong advocate for public needs, for peace, for justice. The other two candidates are completely underwhelming. The way to give Fenwick the most votes is to vote only for him, and not add a second. Of course, in the general election there will be other candidates to choose from.
Charlottesville needs a new mayor, and the way to get one is to put the best people you can on City Council.