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Confessions of a Campaign Volunteer Worker-Bee, Part 3

November 5th, 2012 (11:59 pm)

Whenever I've canvassed in this election cycle, I've tried to let people know what to expect on the ballot when it comes to the Mayoral, City Council, and School Board elections.

Political parties are not listed on the ballot for local races in Virginia, so we can't presume that Democrats who haven't researched individual candidates will automatically just vote for the Democrats. Even if they want to, they may not be able to, because the ballot doesn't say which candidates belong to which party. Alexandria is a highly Democratic city. This is why the campaign signs for Democratic candidates say they're Democrats, while most of the signs for Republicans do not mention the GOP.

If you vote in Alexandria, here's how to tell which City Council candidates are with each party. After you vote in the higher level races, turn your ballot over. Local races are on the back of the ballot. (Yes, we're voting by paper ballot this year. Get over it.) Under City Council, the first clump of candidates are the three Republicans, though the ballot doesn't say so. Then there's a bit of a space to separate them from the next clump, which consists of the six Democrats. After another space is a clump with a few more candidates. These are third-party and independent candidates. Please vote for the clump of six Democrats. Yes, you can vote for up to six, in addition to Mayor Bill Euille, who is running for re-election.

The six Democratic candidates for City Council:

If you're confused, check out this sample ballot from the Alexandria Democratic Committee. (The sample ballot does not include School Board candidates.)

Speaking of the School Board race, it is more confusing for some people. First of all, it's nonpartisan. The candidates don't run with party affiliations, and parties don't endorse candidates. Another thing to remember is that your ballot will show only the candidates who are running in your own School Board district. So if you've been hearing me tell you how wonderful School Board candidate Karen Graf is, but you can't find her name on your ballot, it probably means that you don't live in School Board District A, where Karen is running. By the way, if you don't know who to vote for and you live in District A, I'd recommend not only Karen, but also Stephanie Kapsis and Bill Campbell. You can vote for up to three. Here's a map to find out which district you're in.

Tomorrow is the big day, and I'll be working at two different polling places. So I'd better go get some sleep now.

Do you have your voting plan?