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Democracy Matters - Episode 31: On Becoming a Hotbed of Democracy


 
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SUMMARY: In this episode, we talk with Virginia House of Delegates Representative Schuyler VanValkenburg about civics education, changes in Virginia voting laws, vote-by-mail, redistricting reform on the ballot this November and more.


Virginia has historically been one of the worst states for voting access and for voter disenfranchisement. In the late 1940s, the great historian of southern politics V.O. Key said of the Commonwealth: “By contrast, Mississippi is a hotbed of democracy.”

In this episode, we talk with Virginia House of Delegates Representative Schuyler VanValkenburg about civics education, changes in Virginia voting laws, vote-by-mail, redistricting reform on the ballot this November and more.

Schuyler VanValkenburg was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017, representing Virginia’s 72nd district. He sits on three committees: Privileges and Elections (where he Chairs the Elections Subcommittee), Education (where he Chairs the Standards of Learning and Standards of Quality Subcommittee), and General Laws. He is a graduate of the University of Richmond and has been a public school teacher in Henrico County for 12 years.

Questions for Discussion: 

  • What are the factors that contribute to individuals becoming lifelong voters? 
  • What are the most important factors to make redistricting reform legitimate and effective?
  • How can laws protect voting rights and voting access? 
  • What are the benefits and challenges of vote-by-mail systems?

 

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Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2020

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