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Thousands of Reston Voters Sent Incorrect Sample Ballot From Fairfax County

by Karen Goff October 11, 2016 at 2:00 pm 34 Comments

Incorrect Fairfax Ballot

If you are a registered voter in south Reston, there is a good chance a sample ballot sent to you by the Fairfax County Office of Elections is incorrect.

Voters on Friday received official election mail from the county in advance of the Nov. 8 general election. The information for president, the meals tax, and on Virginia constitutional amendments and bonds is correct.

The ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives is wrong.

Voters in five precincts in the South Lakes-Hughes-Hunters Woods area received sample ballots with information for Virginia’s 8th District, where Rep. Don Beyer (D) is seeking re-election against Charles Hernick (R) and Julio Gracia (I).

Those precincts are in Virginia’s 11th District, where Rep. Gerry Connolly (D), is running unopposed for re-election to the House.

Reston was a member of the 8th District for 20 years, returning to the 11th in Virginia’s 2011 redistricting.

Anyway, consult a correct sample ballot on Fairfax County’s website.

  • Mike M

    So, which is worse? The Congressional District error, or the corrupt wording of the meals tax proposal?

    • ?

      For the purpose of reducing dependence on real estate taxes, shall the Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County, Virginia, be authorized to levy a tax on prepared food and beverages, otherwise known as a meals tax, as allowed by Virginia Code § 58.1-3833, at a rate not to exceed four percent (4%) of the amount charged for prepared food and beverages (which, based upon state law, is applicable only to sales outside of the town of Clifton, and towns of Herndon and Vienna that have already implemented a meals tax)? The revenues generated shall be dedicated to the following purposes:
      1. 70 percent of the net revenues to Fairfax County Public Schools.
      2. 30 percent of the net revenues to County services, capital improvements and property tax relief.

      • One Really

        Would have been better if they added:

        1. 70 percent of the net revenues to Fairfax County Public Schools. For the sole purpose of increasing teacher’s salaries.

        • ?

          So far nobody pointed out what is “corrupt” about the ballot wording.

          • Mike M

            It’s an endorsement. It presents the weak arguments For in the text when it should simply state what is being proposed. It’s also too wordy.

          • Guest

            The bit ? quoted isn’t an argument. It’s a statement of intent boiled down by lawmakers and phrased as a question.

            Literally so unpersuasive it’s actively hostile to the reader, and so poorly presented it drove TBird73 off the rails.

          • Mike M

            “For the purpose of reducing dependence on real estate taxes”
            False. Real estate taxes continue to climb. There is no offset.

            ” applicable only to sales outside of the town of Clifton, and towns of Herndon and Vienna that have already implemented”
            Encourages people from these towns to vote yes because they are immune. Also implies that everyone else is doing it. Which is a very weak argument FOR.

          • Guest

            County funding drawn from the meals tax would by definition reduce dependence on real estate taxes.

            Describing the source of tax revenue is not an argument. Not slicing out legally excepted towns would be lying in an attempt to persuade.

          • Mike M

            They seek not diversified revenue. They seek MORE revenue. Why lie?

          • Guest

            Both are literally true. But more revenue doesn’t need to be included. It’s obvious. It’s a tax. Diversified revenue explains to voters why it’s a proposed meals tax.

            You are attempting to redefine the literal truth as a lie. I can’t keep you from trying, but I can call attention to your deceit.

          • Mike M

            The diversification point is a diversion. It is augmentation to property tax.

          • Guest

            Now that’s completely wrong. Diversification of revenue is why this is a proposed meals tax instead of raising real estate taxes.

            The “immune” voters you pointed at yesterday still pay property tax.

          • Mike M

            Property taxes are going up as well. The BOS and School Board are just a little embarrassed at how high they would have to go to satiate their 2017 demands. Diversification is a canard. It’s camouflage.

          • Guest

            Despite attempting to shift the goalposts, you’re still wrong. As previously stated, it would by definition reduce dependence on real estate taxes.

            That’s by percentage of total budget, in case you’re confusing it with property taxes in total.

          • One Really

            Corrupt = For the purpose of reducing dependence on real estate taxes, shall the Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County, Virginia, be authorized to levy a tax on prepared food and beverages,

          • Guest

            And you still haven’t.

      • TBird73

        1.7 percent? The schools would get more than 75% of the meals tax. How do you figure “1.70 percent of the net revenues”?

        • Guest

          1) 70% …
          2) 30% …

          • TBird73

            Great. Whatever. It was previously 75 or 80% for schools. It still does not correlate with 1.7% for schools and 2.3% for the county. That statement is a blatant lie.

          • Guest

            It’s not 1.7%, just a poorly displayed list:

            1. <- the first item (70%)
            2. <- the second item (30%)

    • Wilson W

      All are horrible. But looking at this realistically, I don’t think the meal tax will pass, and the congressional district error won’t change the election outcome. But two more years of Gerry Connolly is a given. So that’s the real problem.

  • Greg


  • Absentee Voter

    I had to vote with an Absentee Ballot. There are three amendments to the state Constitution which weren’t included on the sample I recieved.

  • John Farrell

    The Electoral Board says that new sample ballots will be sent to the voters who received the erroneous sample ballots.

  • Mookie Taylor

    Ach. I was mightily confused. Thanks!

  • Dirk Diggler

    Comments closed on the SLHS story. So many issues here…not the least of which censoring an open forum. I’ll stop following and you should too.

    • Guest

      I love your work.

    • Mike M

      It’s not really an open forum. And a comment along the lines of your name drew a nuke from the boss lady.

  • Greg

    What’s the purpose of mailing a sample ballot to anyone? Yet another wasteful expense that we can easily cut from our bloated budgets. Especially when government can’t do it right the first time.

    • RC

      Sure we COULD do that – and then at the polling places themselves voters would complain that there wasn’t enough information provided beforehand, so they had to figure everything out on the spot.

    • TBird73

      Sorry Greg, but voters are so laughably uninformed, or worse, misinformed that I for one do not mind spending a few bucks to give them some relevant information.

      • Greg

        A few bucks perhaps, but the postage and printing alone is tens of thousands, plus the salaries and benefits of the incompetents who produced the duds. We all know how government workers are overpaid here.

        It’s wasteful especially when it’s been done incorrectly in other places.

        Put it online and be done with it.

        • TBird73

          An informed electorate is worth more than a few bucks. Sorry you don’t think making an informed decision has any value more than a McDonalds cheeseburger. As for “government workers” this was not done by the schools, so I would guess that the workers who actually did this were not as “overpaid” as you presume.

          • Greg

            I am sorry that you think the waste is the cost of a McDonald’s cheeseburger and that you now think that this cost is more than a few bucks. Very confusing, TB.

            The electorate will be more confused than ever with this erroneous garbage especially considering the fact that it excluded all information on VA’s proposed constitutional amendments.

            Let’s not forget that the county also sent a “fact” sheet on the meals tax and the bond referenda

            Draw your own conclusions as to which county staff are overpaid from this 2013 database. Salaries only and excludes schools.



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