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SERWAN ZANGANA: Roanoke Valley Republican Women Meet to Discuss Fair Elections in Virginia

Virginia Fair Elections, was the topic presented by Dr. Clara Belle Wheeler on the warm evening of April 16, at Roanoke Valley Republican Women meeting in Roanoke. At first, Chairwoman Barbara Norris Duerk started the meeting with a prayer, the pledge of allegiance and  the Virginia Republican Creed before introducing Dr. Wheeler.

Dr. Wheeler is a senior fellow with Virginian Institute for Public Policy and a Vice chairman of the Election Board in Albemarle County. Apparently, the Republican Women of the Valley are taking a major step to educate the public about citizens’ rights in voting and the law of Elections in Virginia.

“We have the potential to have chaos in the elections.” Dr. Wheeler said. Evidently, the election is not a simple and a smooth process as many concerns often arise. Non-citizens voting is another concern that Dr. Wheeler expressed, which affects the integrity of elections. She emphasized in particular the importance of checking voters’ citizenship.

Furthermore, Dr. Wheeler recognized the hard work and the importance of the Electoral Board members. It is noteworthy that the Party Chairman of the district certifies the candidate who has been nominated for the Electoral Board by the Party (VA Code 24.2-511). There will be three members of Electoral Board who are appointed by the judge (VA Code 24.2-106).

Virginia’s upcoming election is critical as Republicans and Democrats battle to control the State. In Virginia legislative races in 2023, Democrats out-raised Republicans which hindered their outcome. Virginia has not voted for Republicans in Presidential Electionsince 2008.

Again, Dr. Wheeler emphasized the importance of the involvement in each election and called for recruiting for Officers of Elections. Dr. Wheeler also expressed her concern about the absentee ballot as an easy way for Election fraud. Indeed, the absentee ballot can be filed by another person whose name is not on the ballot and sent in.

To be noted that some attendees mentioned that Democrats recruit employees in nursing homes to help the residents and fill their ballots out and send them out. The bottom line in assuring fair elections is to be involved, monitor, and vote.

“One vote determine the Election.” Dr. Wheeler said.

– Serwan Zangana supported Operation Iraqi Freedom as a U.S Army translator before coming to the U.S from Kurdistan, Iraq in 1997 to seek political asylum. He was granted asylum status and years later proudly became a U.S citizen. He currently serves as a correction officer in Roanoke.

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