As we begin the 2018 legislative session, if we have learned nothing in the past 12 months, it is simply this: every vote counts and, now, more than ever, every vote matters.
As an elected official, I have always known I serve at the pleasure of the people who cast their ballot for me because, in our country, the real power belongs to the people. Should any elected official lose sight of that fact, he or she may well pay the price during the next election. And in Virginia, another election is never more than a year away.
During this legislative session, my colleagues and I in the Virginia Senate, as well as our Delegates in the House, will consider many bills brought before the legislature. We will attend many hearings and committee meetings to hear not only what my fellow lawmakers in the Senate think or discuss concerns they might have, but also to hear what their constituents are telling them back in their own district. Remember, I represent the thoughts and opinions of the voters of the 8th Senate District so as we go forward, I will have to be ever-mindful of not only what this new law might mean to our state, but also what it will mean to the citizens of the 8th Senate District.
But all of this is only half of the process. The other half rests upon the citizens I represent.
It is up to our citizens to help keep their lawmakers informed, to make us aware of the problems you face or the challenges a new law or the presence of an outdated one might present to you. As your Senator, I need your input, your thoughts, and concerns to help move the process forward in a way that benefits all Virginians. Finally, I need you to do one more thing. I need you to take the time necessary to inform yourself of the issues, learn about the candidates, and to vote in every election.
Just as we saw in several elections throughout the Commonwealth in 2017, a single voter has the power to determine not only the outcome of the election. It is also true one voter can tip the entire balance of power in the House of Delegates or in the Senate.
If you are not registered to vote, the Virginia Department of Elections allows Virginia residents to easily register to vote online. You can register to vote at the Virginia Beach Voter Registrar’s Office on Princess Anne Road (at the municipal center), you can stop by any Department of Motor Vehicles Office and register to vote there. The Republican Party of Virginia Beach has voter registration forms, as do public libraries, as well as your local post office. If you don’t have an identification card, the Voter Registrar’s Office can help you by issuing you a Voter I.D. card that will meet Virginia’s Voter I.D. law.
If you need help, call my office and I will do everything possible to help get you registered to vote.