Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Are you ready to vote?

Are you ready to vote?

Next Tuesday, November 6 is Election Day. In Goochland County the polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. By now, you should know where your voting precinct is. If not, please call the registrar’s office at 556-5803.
If you live in Goochland County’s District 4 and vote at St. Matthew’s Church, it is especially important that you make up your mind and be ready to cast your ballot when you get into the voting booth. Also, as voter turnout is expected to be high, please try to vote during late morning or mid-afternoon if you can, to shorten lines during morning and evening rush hours.
There are probably 16 trillion other places online to help you decide which candidates will get your vote.
However, you will also have the opportunity to vote for or against two amendments to the Virginia State Constitution. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU GET INTO THE VOTING BOOTH TO READ AND THINK ABOUT THESE AMENDMENTS.
The amendments concern eminent domain, the power of government to take land from its owner, and changing the method used to determine the starting date of a “veto” session of the General Assembly.

The eminent domain amendment prevents governments from taking private property for any purpose other than public use and ensures just compensation to the owner of that property including lost profits. This amendment is intended to make it very difficult and expensive for governments to take private property for economic development or private use.
For instance, this would permit government to use eminent domain to take land to build a road or school, but not to sell to a private developer. It also ensures that the legislature cannot “change the rules” by passing laws without citizen approval at the polls.

The text of this amendment is:

Shall Section 11 of Article I (Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended (i) to require that eminent domain only be exercised where the property taken or damaged is for public use and, except for utilities or the elimination of a public nuisance, not where the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development; (ii) to define what is included in just compensation for such taking or damaging of property; and (iii) to prohibit the taking or damaging of more private property than is necessary for the public use? 

Any measure that protects private property rights is good. Please vote “yes” for this amendment. 

The timing change of the veto session seems to be a housekeeping issue to ensure that the veto sessions do not begin on a religious holiday like Passover.  

It reads: “Shall Section 6 of Article IV (Legislature) of the Constitution of Virginia concerning legislative sessions be amended to allow the General Assembly to delay by no more than one week the fixed starting date for the reconvened or “veto” session when the General Assembly meets after a session to consider the bills returned to it by the Governor with vetoes or amendments?” 

As turnout for the presidential election is expected to be heavy, the less time each of us spends in the voting booth, the faster the lines will move.
Please visit http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/CandidatesList.html#Amendments for more information about  these ballot issues to ensure that you are an informed and efficient voter on Election Day, next Tuesday, November 6. Be a good citizen, be ready to vote!






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