U.S. House races and bond initiatives: A 2022 VPM News voter guide
Elections for Virginia's representatives in the U.S. House are set for Nov. 8. Check out this voter guide to ensure you’re ready for Election Day.
Virginia offers a few different options for voting, including day-of voting and absentee voting by mail or in person before Election Day. To be eligible to vote, register by Oct. 17, either online, by mail or at a local registration office.
How to vote
To vote in person on Election Day, check the Virginia Department of Elections website to find your assigned polling place. These locations are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and anyone in line by 7 p.m. is guaranteed the right to vote. Remember to bring an acceptable form of ID, such as a driver's license, student ID or tribal ID. People without an ID can sign an ID confirmation statement to receive an official ballot, or they can fill out a provisional ballot and mail a copy of their ID to the election board by Nov. 11 for their ballot to be counted.
Dates to remember:
- First day for early voting: Sept. 23
- Last day to register to vote: Oct. 17
- Last day to request amail-in ballot: Oct. 28
- Last day for in-person early voting: Nov. 5
- Election Day: Nov. 8
- Absentee ballots must be postmarked by 7 p.m. Nov. 8 and received by Nov. 14
Anyone in Virginia can now vote early for any reason without an application; people can vote early at the local registrar’s office beginning Sept. 23. Offices are open during business hours Monday through Friday. People also can vote early at their voter registration office on two Saturdays: Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. The last day to vote early is Nov. 5. As with voting on Election Day, an ID — or a confirmation statement — is required.
To vote by mail, people need to apply online, by mail or at their local registrar’s office to have a ballot sent to them. Once the ballot is filled out and put in the proper envelope — which must be signed by a witness — it can either be mailed back or returned in person to any early voting location or any polling place on Election Day.
Virginia also offers curbside voting on Election Day for people 65 and older or for people with a disability. Additionally, accessible parking, accessible voting booths and seating are available at all voting locations.
What’s on the ballot
All Virginia seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are on the ballot this year, and all 11 current representatives are seeking reelection. The Democratic and Republican parties each nominated a candidate in each of the 11 districts; two include independent candidates vying for a seat. New congressional and state legislative districts were approved in late 2021.
The 1st District includes areas of Central Virginia, such as Midlothian, Glen Allen, Williamsburg and Yorktown. Incumbent Rep. Rob Wittman is running for reelection; the Republican has held the seat for 15 years. Wittman spent more than two decades working for the Virginia Department of Health after receiving a master’s degree in public health.
Two politicians are challenging Wittman: Independent David Bruce Foster and Democrat Herbert “Herb” Jones Jr. Foster is a self-proclaimed conservative who is self-funding his campaign. Jones served in the Army for 30 years.
Democratic incumbent Rep. Elaine Luria and Republican state Sen. Jennifer Kiggins are running in the 2nd District of Virginia. The district now includes Virginia Beach, Cape Charles and Chesapeake. Luria is an U.S. Navy veteran and has served the 2nd District for three years. Kiggins also served in the Navy for 10 years and has been in the Virginia Senate since 2020.
The 3rd District includes the cities of Portsmouth and Newport News. Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott, who previously worked in the state legislature, has represented the area for 29 years and is running for reelection. He currently serves as chair for the committee on education and labor. Terry Namkung, an Air Force veteran who works in the energy sector, is running as a Republican.
Republican Leon Benjamin Sr. is challenging incumbent Rep. Donald McEachin for the second time in a race for the 4th District. Benjamin lost to the Democrat in 2020. McEachin has served in the post for five years. Benjamin is a pastor at a Southside Richmond church. The 4th District encompasses the city of Richmond, Petersburg, Charles City and Emporia.
The 5th District includes areas west of the capital, including Charlottesville, Powhatan County, Farmville and Danville. Republican Rep. Bob Good has served the area since 2021 and is seeking reelection. He previously worked as an associate athletic director at Liberty University and was on the Campbell County Board of Supervisors. Democrat Josh Throneburg is challenging Good. He is an ordained minister and currently owns a home-cleaning service in Charlottesville.
Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger currently represents the 7th District of Virginia, which encompasses Fredericksburg and its surrounding areas. She has served in the office since 2019 and was a CIA officer before that. Yesli Vega, her Republican opponent, is an auxiliary deputy in Prince William County, where she is also on the board of supervisors.
Residents of Henrico County will have the chance to vote on a bond measure that would fund four public sectors: schools, parks and recreation, public safety and storm water drainage. If passed, the largest portion of the funds would go to public schools, at $340.5 million. Public school projects include a new elementary school in Fairfield and rebuilding four other schools across Henrico.
Other projects include renovating fire stations, building a park and opening an animal adoption center near Three Chopt Road, and building an environmental education building at Wilton Farm in Varina.
Similarly, Chesterfield County will have a bond referendum on the ballot in November. If passed, this plan's $540 million in funding would be broken up into a pot designated for each of the following: school facilities, public safety facilities, libraries, and parks and recreation.
Schools would get the overwhelming majority of those funds — $375 million. The funding would replace four existing schools, expand another and create a new elementary and high school in Chesterfield.
Other races to watch
Local races in Central Virginia to watch include Colonial Heights City Council and School Board, Hopewell City Council, Hanover County Board of Supervisors and the Petersburg City School Board and City Council.