‘There is no space for complacency’
11/17/2017, 8:49 p.m.
Re “Virginia elects Democrats to top posts, other offices” and “House of Delegates to become more diverse,” Free Press Nov. 9-11 edition:
Democrats deserve to celebrate the Nov. 7 sweep of statewide offices and their gains in the House of Delegates, but they should also bear in mind that there is no space for complacency.
The enthusiasm shown by the commonwealth’s Democratic electorate and the party’s successful effort to turn out the vote likely will spur the GOP to redouble its antidemocratic efforts to bar qualified voters from the ballot box and to suppress turnout on Election Day in 2018 and 2020.
It is also worth remembering that were it not for gerrymandering, the Democrats’ gains in the House of Delegates would have been greater. A mere 44.4 percent of total votes cast statewide (1,091,399 of 2,458,104) may enable the Republicans to retain control of the legislature, while the Democrats’ 54.16 percent (1,306,733) may not yield even the barest of majorities.
Until this gerrymandering is addressed, the registering and aggressive participation by every potential Democratic voter remains crucial to preserving and broadening these gains and every seat in the legislature must be a contested seat.