We’re glad to be back and ready to share your latest Virginia Updates newsletter for Tuesday, October 5 📬
Join us to get the latest on the High School Voter Registration Challenge by Governor Northam. Also today, walk-in appointments start at the DMV, the Climate Change Coalition between Virginia and Maryland, Redistricting Updates and finally, Vaccine and COVID-19 information from across the state.
‼️ We are also now 1 WEEK AWAY from the registration deadline, be sure to register to vote or update your voter information by Tuesday, October 12!
✅REGISTER @ bit.ly/register-va
Here are this week's Virginia Updates. We have news on;
▪️ Voter Registration Challenge!
▪️ DMV Now Open for Walk-ins
▪️ Climate Change Coalition
▪️ Redistricting Update
▪️ Vaccine Update
▪️ COVID-19 Data
Voter Registration Challenge!
Governor Ralph Northam announced the start of Virginia’s sixth annual Governor’s High School Voter Registration Challenge.
The challenge aims to encourage high schools to register at least 65% of their eligible senior classes to vote. The schools that register more than 65% will receive a congratulatory certificate from Northam.
Under the law, Virginia public high schools are required to facilitate voter registration during the school day.
Students born on or before Nov. 2, 2003 can register to vote in this year’s election.
The annual competition was created in 2016 through a partnership with the Office of the Governor, the Secretaries of Administration and Education, the Virginia Department of Elections, and the League of Women Voters of Virginia.
Those eligible can also register to vote by accessing services at a Department of Motor Vehicles office or on the DMV website.Virginians can also register to vote by submitting paper applications to their local general registrar by mail, in person, or by completing the online form on the Department of Elections’ website.
Schools participating in the governor’s voter registration challenge can get credit for each student who registers to vote via the Department of Elections’ Citizen Portal. Schools should use their school’s unique URL during that process, which can be found on the League of Women Voters of Virginia website.
DMV Now Open
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will begin offering appointments and walk-in services on alternating days beginning today, October 5.
All of the 75 DMV locations statewide will be for appointments only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays will be left open for walk-in services.
The walk-in services are returning following a Virginia General Assembly voted to approve a budget amendment proposed by Sen. Chap Peterson (D-Fairfax City) that would require the DMV to accept walk-ins again.
The DMV encourages people to cancel any scheduled appointments that they no longer plan to use.
People opting to not make an appointment will be served on a first-come, first-served basis depending on the reason for their visit. Wait times are expected for these unscheduled services.
Virginians can also access many services online or by mail.
Climate Change Coalition
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam met with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday to commit to action on climate change and more efforts to help restore the Chesapeake Bay.
At the meeting of the Chesapeake Executive Council at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center, Northam, Hogan and other leaders signed a climate change directive committing the Chesapeake Bay Program to address increasing threats of climate change in all aspects of the partnership’s work.
Northam says they will focus on nature-based solutions, such as the City of Virginia Beach’s restoration of more than 200 acres of marshes in Back Bay in Virginia Beach.
Hogan emphasized cleaning up the Susquehanna River, which starts in New York and empties into the bay, is key as well. He said he is submitting a memorandum to the Maryland General Assembly on Friday, laying out four new climate change goals in regard to the Chesapeake Bay.
The goal of this partnership is to recognize the need to increase the resiliency of the watershed, as well as the need to restore natural landscapes, habitats, public infrastructure, and communities so they can withstand adverse impacts from changing environmental and climate conditions.
The Redistricting Commission has less than a week to deliver legislative maps to the General Assembly.
The 16-member commission have struggled to reach consensus on maps for the state’s legislative chambers based on new census figures. The part-time commission has a constitutional deadline of Oct. 10 to reach agreement.
The commission is expected to take up maps for the House and Senate at a hearing on Saturday in an effort to try to find common ground.
Next week, from Monday through Thursday, the commission will hold eight hearings to hear comments from anyone in the public about district proposals for each of the state’s eight regions.
The Princeton Gerrymandering Project last week gave “A” marks to Democraticand Republican versions of the House maps, despite some differences.
Children under 12 are not yet eligible for the covid vaccine, but a recent finding showed that a low dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 5 to 11, which is a step toward authorization of the vaccine for that age group.
Virginia officials are planning to be ready to distribute the vaccine to children under 12 by late October, if the shots are authorized, Northam said.
Vaccine Summary: As of Tuesday, October 5
Total Doses Administered: 10,609,562
People Fully Vaccinated: 5,168,716 or 60.1%
% of Adults (18+) Fully Vaccinated: 72.1%
People Vaccinated with at least 1 dose: 5,803,367 or 68%
% of Adults (18+) Vaccinated with at least 1 dose: 80.7%
For more information on Virginia's vaccination efforts, please visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA
The Virginia Department of Health reported Tuesday that the statewide total for COVID-19 cases is 877,090. The 877,090 consists of 655,601 confirmed and 221,489 probable cases. There are 12,908 COVID-19 deaths, and Virginia’s 7-day positivity rate is now at 8.5%.
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