An audit by Ohio county boards of election showed a clean 2021 general election, according to Secretary of State Frank LaRose.
LaRose recently announced post-election mandatory audits from all counties were finalized for the 2021 general election, and results showed a 99.9% accuracy rate in counties that used a percentage-based audit.
The recent Republican victory in the Virginia gubernatorial race and near-win in New Jersey dominated coverage of last month’s elections, but Republicans won unexpected victories in other contests as well.
Here are five other surprising results from the 2021 elections.
School construction and renovation projects are on the ballot in local funding referenda across the Commonwealth. Voters in six localities will decide whether to approve taking on debt for the projects. In Danville and neighboring Pittsylvania County, they’ll vote on instituting one percent sales taxes to help fund the local projects.
“It’s very typical,” Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) said. “Localities are allowed to issue public indebtedness in order to build schools. And typically, in order to bind the taxpayer with what’s called a general obligation bond, they have to go to a referendum. I’d say ordinarily most school systems have a referendum eight to ten years. Now, smaller jurisdictions, like where I live in Fairfax City, which is 25,000 people, it usually is less likely to go to a referendum unless you’re building a new school altogether, otherwise they’ll typically pay for these projects out of operating funds.”
Local voters in three counties are voting in advisory referenda on what to do with confederate monuments in Matthews County, Nottoway County, and Middlesex County. The referenda are non-binding, but are used as a tool to understand public opinion before local officials make a final decision.
In 2020, the General Assembly changed its laws about monuments, finally allowing localities to decide if they want to remove, relocate, contextualize, or cover publicly-owned monuments, as long as they provided two periods of 30-days notice and a public hearing. The law also allows the localities to hold optional referenda.
Voters in Emporia City and Amherst County are voting on local referenda about whether or not to allow the Colonial Downs Group to bring slots-style pari-mutuel gaming with new Rosie’s Gaming Emporium locations. Proponents say the facilities will bring local jobs and revenue for the locality, but opponents say that profit could come at the expense of locals.
“Voters approving pari-mutuel wagering in Amherst County will allow a Rosie’s to open. That means that dozens of new jobs will need to be filled. 100 new jobs will be created as a result, offering at least $15/hr and a $47,000 average annual salary with benefits,” Amherstwins.com states.
The percentage of state legislative seats being contested by both major parties in 2021 is higher than at any point in the past decade, according to a Ballotpedia analysis of candidate filings. Of the 220 seats up for election in New Jersey and Virginia, 93% are set to feature a Democrat versus a Republican on the general election ballot this November. Of the remaining 15 seats, 10 will likely be won by Democrats since they have no Republican competitors and five will likely be won by Republicans.
This is the first state legislative election cycle since at least 2010 where more than 90% of state legislative seats up for election nationwide were contested by both major parties. This increase in major party competition was largely driven by an increased level of competitiveness in the Virginia House of Delegates over the past decade.
A new digital ad launched by the campaign for Republican nominee for Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin blasts Democrat opponent and former governor Terry McAuliffe, calling him “dishonest.”
The ad claims that McAuliffe is tied to former President Donald J. Trump, who once supported McAuliffe with a $25,000 campaign donation, but now seeks to distance himself from Trump.
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), once again a candidate for the state’s highest office, was caught selectively editing statements made years ago by his Republican opponent for a campaign ad.
McAuliffe, according to a Washington Post fact-checker, purposefully took quotes from his Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin out of context in order to make it appear that Youngkin had praised McAuliffe during the latter’s first stint as governor.