The November 2019 Local Elections


The local election votes are in. What happens next?

On Tuesday, Nov 5, 2019, local elections took place throughout the United States. In Virginia, results were record-making, with the democrats flipping the entire state’s government and taking control of the House of Delegates and the Senate for the first time in more than two decades. 

One of the biggest motivators for people voting in this election is the heated debate over gun control and gun legislation. After the deadly shooting in Virginia Beach in May 2019 that left 12 people dead, governor Northam attempted to pass more restrictive gun laws. However, with Virginia state legislature being full of mostly Republican members at the time, nothing was able to get done. Now, with the massive change in who controls the Virginia House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate, people are hoping for a new opportunity for updating gun laws. 

In a shocking turn of events, Juli Briskman, local to Sterling, Virginia, who made national news in 2017 with the infamous picture of her flipping off Trump’s motorcade while riding her bicycle in Lowes Island, ran and won the election for Board of Supervisors in the Algonkian District. Briskman beat out republican Suzanne Volpe, who had previously been a member of the Board of Supervisors since 2011. 

The significance of local elections is often overlooked, however, with the popularity of presidential elections taking priority in the media. Although local offices may seem less important, these elections will have a bigger impact on the residents and community which they preside over.

When speaking about her decision to vote on Tuesday, Kira Hoilman, AP government teacher at Potomac Falls, said, “I think that voting is a civic duty; not just a valuable democratic right.” She explained the importance of local elections, and why people should take them seriously, saying “I think that local government makes a more immediate daily impact on people’s lives… so local elections should be taken as seriously, in my opinion as presidential elections.”