From WTOP’s Election Desk: Early voting coming to close in DC, Virginia

Welcome back to WTOP’s weekly election update! WTOP’s team of reporters will keep you informed on the latest through November as primary and election races heat up in the District, Maryland, Virginia and nationwide.

Local politics and elections | Nick Iannelli

Last chance to vote early in DC and Virginia

It’s crunch time. We are now just a few days from the primary elections in D.C. and Virginia, which are set for Tuesday, June 21, and voters are running out of time to cast a ballot early and avoid lines on Election Day.

In the District — where voters are choosing candidates for mayor, D.C. attorney general and a slew of D.C. Council seats — Early Vote Centers are open through Sunday, June 19.

Election officials said this week that the early turnout has been slow, and they encouraged people to get out and vote now before the election.

“Early voting is a great opportunity to get in and get out in five minutes,” said Nick Jacobs, with the D.C. Board of Elections.

In Virginia, you can vote early in person through Saturday, June 18.

While there is less political activity in Virginia during this election cycle, there are a couple of primaries that will be watched closely — the Republican primaries in the 2nd and 7th congressional districts.

The 2nd District, in the Virginia Beach area, has four Republicans running for the chance to take on incumbent Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria in November.

In the 7th District, which includes parts of Prince William, Stafford and Culpeper counties, six Republicans are running, hoping to take on incumbent Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger.

Both Luria and Spanberger are considered among the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress this year.

Ballots hitting mailboxes in Maryland

The Maryland primary isn’t until July 19, with in-person early voting set to begin July 7. Ballots are now being mailed out to registered voters who previously requested them.

So far, more than 400,000 ballots have been mailed, according to state election officials.

Ballot drop boxes have been delivered and installed in jurisdictions throughout Maryland.

The Maryland State Board of Elections sent roughly 600,000 mail-in ballot “request forms” to newly registered Republicans, Democrats, third-party and independent voters, who can use those forms to ask for a mailed ballot if they wish.

It’s a busy year in Maryland, as voters will decide all 188 seats in the state legislature, along with governor, a U.S. Senate seat and all eight U.S. House seats.

New mayor elected in Hyattsville

This flew under my radar: Voters earlier this month elected a new mayor in Hyattsville, Maryland, in a special election following the death of former Mayor Kevin Ward, who tragically took his own life in January at the age of 44.

The winner of the election was Robert Croslin, who had been serving as interim mayor.

“We are all devastated by the loss of our beloved mayor and mourn with you,” Croslin previously said regarding the death of Ward.

Croslin will be sworn into office in a public ceremony at Robert J, King Memorial Park on Friday, June 24.

Photo of the Week

 

A video showing former President Donald Trump speaking at a rally is shown as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

 

From Capitol Hill | Mitchell Miller

Will Jan. 6 hearings affect midterm elections?

The latest hearings of the House select committee investigating Jan. 6 indicate that former President Donald Trump repeatedly ignored advisers in his inner circle, who told him there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Ultimately, the committee said, the former president’s push to overturn the election results put the life of former Vice President Mike Pence in danger, as a rioting mob broke into the U.S. Capitol calling for Pence’s hanging for not altering the certification of Electoral College votes.

House Republicans said voters have moved on from the attack on the Capitol and efforts of Trump to block the peaceful transfer of power.

“We’ve got record inflation, soaring gas prices, unhinged crime in our cities and uninhibited illegal immigration,” said Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., vice chair of the House Republican Conference.

Johnson said this week that Democrats remain focused on “their seething hatred for Donald Trump.”

Democrats counter that Americans need to know how close the country came to dealing with a constitutional crisis that threatened the sanctity of their votes.

Given the highly charged partisan atmosphere of the country, it seems unlikely many minds will be changed, or voting patterns altered, by the hearings.

But that doesn’t mean Americans shouldn’t have a fuller understanding of what led to the most devastating assault on the Capitol since the British attack on the iconic building in 1814.

Split decision for Trump in primaries

The latest Republican primaries indicate Trump still has a strong grip on GOP candidates, but it’s not unbreakable.

Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection and didn’t back down from his decision, was soundly defeated in his South Carolina primary by state Rep. Russell Fry, who had been endorsed by Trump.

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., sharply criticized Trump after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. But unlike Rice, she later tried to get back into the former president’s good graces.

Trump never forgave her and backed former state lawmaker Katie Arrington. Still, Mace had the backing of former Gov. Nikki Haley and won the race. She’ll face Democrat Dr. Annie Andrew in the fall election.

In Nevada, Trump had endorsed former state attorney general Adam Laxalt, who won the GOP U.S. Senate primary. Laxalt is a well-known name in Nevada, where his grandfather Paul Laxalt served as governor and as a U.S. Senator representing the Silver State.

Adam Laxalt will run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in the fall election.

She is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbent senators in this election cycle, where just a handful of races could determine which party controls the upper chamber.

Two House Democrats vie for costly seat

The New York Democratic primary pitting Rep. Jerry Nadler against Rep. Carolyn Maloney will no doubt be the most expensive in the country.

The two longtime lawmakers are battling each other for the 12th Congressional District seat because of redistricting.

A veteran Democratic strategist has estimated that spending in the race could be close to $5 million.

Nadler, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, was endorsed this week by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. He has argued that he’s the true progressive in the race.

Maloney chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which will hold a hearing next week on workplace misconduct involving the Washington Commanders.

Commanders owner Daniel Snyder has declined to testify, but the hearing will likely bring more attention to Maloney, with testimony expected from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The New York primary is set for Aug. 23.

Worth your time

From Nick Iannelli

From Mitchell Miller

Dates to know

Primary day in Virginia and D.C. is June 21; in Maryland, it’s July 19. Here are some other dates in the near future you’ll want to keep in mind.

  • June 18: The last day for early in-person voting in Virginia.
  • June 19: The last day for in-person early voting in D.C.
  • June 28: The deadline to register to vote in Maryland.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

Mitchell Miller

Mitchell Miller has worked at WTOP since 1996, as a producer, editor, reporter and Senior News Director. After working "behind the scenes," coordinating coverage and reporter coverage for years, Mitchell moved back to his first love -- reporting. He is now WTOP's Capitol Hill reporter.

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