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Virginia Decides: Special Election Broadcast from VPM News

voting stickers
A roll of "I Voted" stickers from 2019. (Photo: Louis Keeton/VPM News)

Election Day is just over two weeks away, but it’s been on the minds of many Virginians for months. As we await what “Virginia Decides,” VPM News is staying connected to the stories that matter now by putting together a special election broadcast with highlights from our reporters’ stories.

Our news team is keeping track of local and congressional races throughout central Virginia. Our journalists are either working from their own homes or doing all they can to safely report from the field. 

Instead of the horse race or reporting on opinion polls, something different that VPM News did this year to cover the election was ask Virginians one simple question: “What do you want the candidates to talk about as they compete for votes?” Around 350 people replied to our Citizens Agenda Election Survey, and we developed a number of stories based on questions people had. 

One concern many raised was about absentee voting: how would it be secure and would candidates make sure it’s safe? Patrick Larsen and Whittney Evans took a look at some of the big changes with early voting this year in the commonwealth. 

Due to the pandemic, many traditional poll workers have opted out because their age puts them in a high-risk category of potentially catching Covid-19.

Ian Stewart details the efforts going on in Chesterfield County to recruit poll workers

Going into the final weeks of the campaign, pollsters in Virginia are giving Joe Biden a clear lead. But are they right?  Charles Fishburne spoke with experts from two of the leading organizations conducting surveys in Virginia. 

A prominent issue in this year’s Richmond mayoral race is how the candidates have responded to ongoing calls for police reform and protests that rocked the city over the summer. (This was also a point brought up in VPM’s Citizens Agenda Election Survey.) Whittney Evans looked at how those candidates differ. 

A week after Election Day, a changed Supreme Court will hear a case that could reshape U.S. healthcare. The lawsuit brought by 18 states and backed by President Trump seeks to strike down the Affordable Care Act. Coverage for roughly 20 million people is on the line, and Republicans up for election are treading carefully during the pandemic. Ben Paviour has more.

VPM News also wanted to share with you some “news you can use” since there’s been lots of discussion over the past few months about misinformation. VPM Intern Jakob Cordes spoke with the one non-profittrying to help people determine what’s true and what isn’t: the News Literacy Project.

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