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Poll: Virginians Support Drug Testing, Divided On Health

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A new poll of Virginia voters is out from Quinnipiac University this morning, showing how Virginians feel about a range of social issues from questions about children's health and school issues to mandatory drug testing for recipients of social services. More than 1,500 voters were surveyed, and while they were split on some issues -- some generated support across the board.

Mandatory HPV vaccinations for girls

Half of Virginia's registered voters, 50 percent, support repealing a law that requires that girls be vaccinated against the HPV virus before entering sixth grade, while 42 percent want the law to remain on the books. If you break it down by gender, 54 percent of women want the law gone, while 46 percent of men support the repeal.

In 2007, Virginia became the first state in the nation to require that young girls be vaccinated for HPV, a virus that can lead to cervical cancer and whose deadliest strains are transmitted sexually.

Education issues prove divisive

During the same survey conducted last week, 1,500 registered voters were asked if it should be easier to fire public school teachers. Of those who responded, 49 percent said yes and 41 per cent said no. As far as allowing schools to begin classes before Labor Day, 57 percent of voters were in favor and 35 percent were not.

Mandatory drug testing

Virginia is one of 30 states around the country currently considering legislation to mandate drug testing for people receiving assistance from the state. Poll data shows that this is a measure that residents of the commonwealth can get behind, with 76 percent of registered Virginia voters supporting drug tests for state welfare recipients.

Broken down by race, white voters support the testing by 77 percent, while black voters support testing by 68 percent. In fact, researchers say there is strong support among all party, income, religious and age groups for testing as a precondition for getting and keeping welfare.

Virginia lawmakers are considering implementing such testing. There are about half a dozen Republican-sponsored bills currently making their way through the legislative process that would require testing  of both welfare and unemployment recipients for illegal drug use.

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