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The Virginia Midterm Election For Dummies

The midterm election is approaching quickly and everywhere people are urging the next generation to vote. Voting is extremely important to ensure the continuation of democracy, however, what is more important is informed voting. A recent study conducted by Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg at Tufts University found that 20 percent of young voters believe they don’t know enough to properly vote. The same study also showed that young voters did not think their vote mattered. The electoral college would vote based on the majority votes and 50 percent of adults vote.

This needs to change. Voting at any age needs to be normalized so we must be informed.

The Virginia midterm elections are doing three things: creating a two amendments, electing Virginia’s Senator and electing Virginia’s representative in the House of Representatives.

The first amendment that is being voted on is the Property Tax Exemption for Flood Abatement. This amendment wants to amend the state constitution to allow town and city government to exempt partial property tax for citizens affected by recurrent flooding and for projects that are being made to prevent flooding and long-term damage caused by it. A vote “yes” would allow the constitution to be amended.

The second amendment on the ballot is the Remove Restriction on Residence for Surviving Spouse of Disabled Veteran Tax Exemption Amendment. This amendment wants to remove the restriction on surviving spouses to be able to move residences and still be eligible for the Disabled Veteran Tax Exemption. The constitution now states that if a spouse is receiving a disabled veteran tax exemption after the sponsoring spouse has passed away, they may only receive the exemption on the household that the exemption was originated on. If the spouse moves after the death of their loved one, they will lose the exemption. A “yes” vote supports the removal of this restriction.

On the ballot, Virginia is electing a new senator. The candidates are Tim Kaine (D), Corey Stewart (R) and Matt Waters (L).

Tim Kaine (Democratic) believes that in the economy, small businesses are the most important asset and we should “find ways to support the entrepreneurs and risk takers.” He wishes to increase military spending and expand the Navy by 355 ships. In terms of coal-mining and nonrenewable resources, he believes that America should be focusing on “the use of low-polluting forms of energy.” His healthcare ideals are based around the Affordable Care Act and reducing health care costs. For immigration, Kaine wants to make the process easier and effective by setting up high-tech immigration programs and establish an e-verify process for employers to check their workers legal status.


Corey Stewart (Republican) supports the Republican tax overhaul and the overall increase of federal government power and less of the state. He wishes to raise the retirement age for all workers under the age of 50 in order to increase social security. He opposes raising taxes for upper-income workers. He opposes the threat of inflation through the increase of minimum wage.  He favors a law change to require that a gun owner’s state-issued concealed-carry permit should be valid in any state despite any local restrictions. He advocates a free-enterprise health care system. With no exception, he wants all illegal residents in the United States to be deported, with opportunity to return legally through their own resources. He also wishes to expand the use of the H-1B visa which allows skilled workers to more easily legally reside in the United States.

Matt Waters (Libertarian) wants to abolish estate and income tax by replacing them with a national sales tax. He wishes to dismantle seven federal departments and freeze spending in the remaining. He wishes to expand immigration to those illegally residing in the United States through a merit-based system which favors those who will bring in profit for the country. The Affordable Care Act and Family Medical Leave Act would be abolished as well. He wishes to focus on mental health rather than gun laws and believes we will see a decrease in gun violence as a cease the Federal War on Drugs is established by abolishing the DEA. He wishes to shrink the size of the military, freeze defense spending and pull all troops out of South Korea and Japan. He opposes abortion rights and the woman’s right to choice, saying that life begins at conception. He wishes to abolish the federal minimum wage.

The House of Representatives candidates are Donald McEachin (D), Ryan McAdams (R) and Pete Wells (L).

Donald McEachin (Democratic) wishes to increase budgets for education, infrastructure and research in Virginia. He is pushing to make our tax code simplified and progressive. He wishes to increase the use of clean energy and the dismantling on nonrenewable resources. He supports raising the retirement age for citizens under the age of 50 to combat the social security crisis. He wishes to expand Medicaid. He also wants to provide an immigration reform that makes it easier for law-abiding illegal residents to have a safe path to citizenship.

Ryan McAdams (Republican) wishes to do a complete budget reform which will target Social Security and Medicaid, potentially dismantling both. He opposes abortion rights and wishes to de-fund Planned Parenthood. He wishes to protect the second amendment and keep gun laws as they are. He wishes to abolish the Affordable Care Act and put measures in place to ensure that medication prices will lower through a free-market system. He wishes to abolish mandatory minimum sentencing in the criminal justice system and give “nonviolent offenders” a second chance at life. He opposes Common Core education and wants to put the power of education back in the teachers hands and not the governments. He wishes to provide vocational and skills training to those on Welfare to ensure success of the program rather than dependence.


Pete Wells (Libertarian) wishes to increase the number of citizens allowed to immigrate to the United States yearly and simplify the process. He wishes to cut military spending and scale back Op Tempo. He wishes to peel back federal support with the economic crisis and not choose which industries to support. He believes that every bill before Congress should be made available to the public before and during the voting period so that the citizens are informed. He wishes to end the materialization of our police and Broken Windows policies.

To continue research on any of these candidates, click the hyperlinks attached. Some candidates might have more information than others as some politicians are further in the public eye than others.

Voting starts on November 6. Go vote!


Mary McLean (nee Moody) is an avid writer and the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus at VCU. She is currently double majoring in Political Science and History at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has published three novels and is working on her fourth. She loves her cats Sully and Remy and will always mention them in every conversation. You can find her looking at memes all night and chugging KickStart in the morning with her husband.
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