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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Enthralling Election: Virginia General Assembly Changes and School Board Replaced

On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Loudoun County residents flocked to the polls to vote to get their party members into office. Volunteers set up tents and handed out sample ballots to incoming voters, and some were even joined by the candidates they were campaigning for, such as Virginia Senate delegate Suhas Subramanym and delegate Kannan Srinivasan.
Shivu Sathe
The Republican and Democratic volunteers speak with voters at Rock Ridge to help them understand how to vote for certain candidates and to interact with their communities.

Virginia has historically been a swing state, meaning that there is a chance of a state being Democratic or Republican in elections, especially presidential ones. Currently, the governor of the state, Glenn Youngkin, is a Republican and has been campaigning for many Republican issues, such as a ban on abortions and relaxed gun control. Before this election year, the Virginia General Assembly was won from Republican control to the Democratic side. Following the Nov. 7 election, Democrats remained in control of the state Senate and flipped the state House of Representatives. 

This result is discouraging to Youngkin and his administration, who had been heavily involved in campaigns against many left-leaning candidates, as it could prove detrimental to policies he hopes to pass. Democrats will now have the numbers to try and block Youngkin’s proposal for tax cuts and abortion bans, among other items. 

Along with the state government positions, all nine positions of the Loudoun County School Board were up for reelection. However, only two existing members ran, both of whom failed to garner the votes needed to reelect them. This means that an entirely new school board will be seated in the coming year. 

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On Tuesday, Nov. 7, voters had the opportunity to cast their ballots in favor of their candidates from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at their assigned polling location. 

Rock Ridge remained a voting site all day alongside other schools across the nation. Volunteers from the two major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, had booths set up outside of the entrance to encourage incoming voters to select their members, as well as provide them with sample ballots to simplify the voting process for them. 

For the volunteers, interacting with the community was a big part of their role and, in some cases, they were joined by candidates as the night came to a close. “It’s really nice getting to know people; but the thing is, not many people are coming out to vote,” volunteer Shaber Syed said. “So if we could have more voter turnout, it would be really good. You should come out to vote and help your candidate get into a position where they can make decisions for you.”

As younger generations grow into voting-eligible ages, candidates and campaigns begin to focus more energy on them. Suhas Subramanyam, a victor for the state Senate (District 23), came out to Rock Ridge to speak with voters and emphasized the importance of voting from a young age. “[People should be voting] every year in Virginia, but this one is especially critical, because there is a lot on the line. [We are] talking about keeping our schools safe and our communities safe, and I think it is very relevant, especially to young voters. Talking about reproductive rights and that being on the line on the ballot this year, that’s very relevant to younger voters,” Subramanyam said. 

Subramanyam was reelected to his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates but has since taken to his Instagram to announce his plan to run for the House of Representatives. He remains driven to defend reproductive rights, standing up to Big Pharma and gun lobbying, as stated in his Instagram caption.

Senior Valentina Abril voted for the first time this year and went early to the Dulles Recreational Center with her mom. “I think it’s very empowering, and whoever had the opportunity to vote should, because it’s one more voice that’s counted into changing our world,” Abril said. 

“I think overall we need to see younger voters come out and vote and that’s when elected leaders respond. If they don’t come out and vote, they are more likely to talk to other voters and be more responsive to other people,” Subramanym said. 

Many members of the class of 2024 had the opportunity to vote for the first time this election season, something heavily stressed in their government classes. “The only research I did was from my Gov class, we are kind of forced to talk about the election in Virginia right now, because that’s what we are learning [about],” Abril said. “All my extra information I got from my mom and the campaign [volunteers] that were outside.” 

“Your vote is your power, you need to use it,” Subramanyam said.

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About the Contributor
Shivu Sathe, News Editor
Shivu Sathe is a valued member of staff, always fast and efficient when it comes to editing articles in her role as News Editor. She’s always liked writing, so it was no surprise that she found a home in newspaper and journalism. Although she’s already beginning to prepare for her life as a college student, she enjoys staying active and up to date in terms of what’s going on around Rock Ridge as part of The Blaze.

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    AGNov 30, 2023 at 2:20 am

    Very well written!