Who’s on your ballot? VCU launches site for students navigating November elections

Illustration by Isabelle Roque

Anna Chen, Contributing Writer

VCU’s College of Humanities and Sciences launched a “comprehensive, nonpartisan” site outlining a list of candidates in the presidential, U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and Richmond mayoral elections.

The site provides information for registering to vote and voting in person or by mail in the Richmond area. It offers information on candidates and their platforms, as well as upcoming events and ways to get involved.

“Gen Z has the opportunity to greatly impact the outcome of this election if we show up,” sophomore fashion merchandising major Taya Coates said. “I see that as a responsibility for our generation to not let our nation down.”

Coates said this is the perfect time for first-time voters to get involved, emphasizing the need for young people to head to the polls.

Junior mechanical engineering major Chris Chu was surprised by the topics covered on VCU’s website and likes that he can “monitor and identify” each candidate and their platform.

“I think it would be a great resource to keep up with the topics that people think are most important to talk about during this election,” Chu said. 

Upcoming events featured on the website include “Race, Media and the 2020 Election,” hosted by the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture on Oct. 6. Dorothy Butler Gilliam, the first Black female reporter at The Washington Post will guide a discussion on Oct. 13. Author Carol Anderson will talk about VCU’s 2020 Common Book, “One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy,” on Oct. 21.

Katie Lee, a sophomore business and emergency management double major, said she believes it’s important for VCU students to exercise their right to vote because of the “social, political, economic, and human rights issues affecting our country.”

“I also believe that it is important for VCU students to vote and inspire their friends to vote more regularly in local elections to make change at a community level,” Lee said.

Early voting in Virginia began Sept. 18. Here are the names Richmond-area voters will see on their ballots:

U.S. president and vice president

  • President Donald Trump and Vice President Michael Pence
  • Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joseph Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. 
  • Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgenson and running mate Jeremy “Spike” Cohen

U.S. Senate — Virginia

  • Incumbent Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
  • Republican challenger Daniel Gade

U.S. House of Representatives — 4th District

  • Incumbent Rep. A. Donald McEachin, D-Richmond
  • Pastor Leon Benjamin, R-Richmond

U.S. House of Representatives — 7th District

  • Incumbent Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Glen Allen
  • Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper

Richmond mayoral

  • Mayor Levar Stoney
  • Councilwoman Kim Gray
  • University of Richmond alumnus Justin Griffin
  • Business owner Tracey McLean
  • Alexsis Rodgers, a former policy advisor for Gov. Ralph Northam 

The House of Representatives’ 4th District spans from the West End of Richmond to Virginia’s southern border, excluding Newport News and surrounding areas. The 7th District includes Glen Allen and Short Pump, stretching north and south to the counties of Louisa and Powhatan.

Register to vote at elections.virginia.gov. The deadline to register or update existing registration is Oct. 13, and the deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 23. 

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