VA Supreme Court Moves Lovettsville, Middleburg Town Elections to June 4

Municipal elections in the Towns of Lovettsville and Middleburg this year have been pushed to the first Thursday of June.

A panel of three Virginia Supreme Court justices on Friday granted petitions made by the towns of Lovettsville and Middleburg to move the May 19 municipal elections to June 4. Elections in the towns of Hamilton and Round Hill will still be held Tuesday, May 19.

Both the Lovettsville and Middleburg Town Councils had voted to petition the state Supreme Court for the delay last Thursday. Lovettsville Town Attorney Liz Whiting said the turnaround for the panel to grant Lovettsville’s petition was the quickest she’s ever seen; she filed it late Thursday afternoon and the panel granted it less than 24 hours later.

Loudoun General Registrar Judy Brown said the commonwealth informed her that this is the first time such a delay has been granted. She said the county Office of Elections and Voter Registration will be able to use the May 19 town elections in Hamilton and Round Hill, where a combined only 133 voters cast ballots in the 2018 elections, as a practice session for implementing proper social distancing measures on June 4.

Elections in all municipalities across the state were originally scheduled to be held on May 5. In early April, Gov. Ralph Northam requested the Virginia General Assembly vote to delay the elections to Nov. 3—the same day as the 2020 General Election—to keep voters from congregating at the polls during the COVID-19 pandemic. The General Assembly rejected that request during its April 22 veto session, which prompted Northam two days later to use his executive authority to delay the elections by 14 days to May 19.

Under Virginia law, local governing bodies may petition a panel of the state Supreme Court for a 30-day delay from the original election date if the governor first delays the elections by two weeks.

The Purcellville Town Council was the only other Loudoun town to vote to petition for the 30-day delay, doing so on April 14. Brown said Purcellville Town Attorney Sally Hankins indicated she was going to file that petition on Friday, meaning the Supreme Court panel will likely review it Monday.

Absentee voting is still encouraged for all town elections this year.

As of Friday, the county Office of Elections had received 2,057 requests for absentee ballots out of the 9,523 registered voters in the five Loudoun towns participating in this year’s municipal elections. Of those, 1,567 came from Purcellville, 310 came from Lovettsville and 72 came from Middleburg.

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