WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Law Grants Virginia AG Power To Prosecute Election Laws

Play associated audio

Virginia attorneys general would have the power to investigate and prosecute violations of election laws under legislation that has been approved by the state Senate.

Attorneys general can assist local prosecutors at the request of the State Board of Elections. Under this bill, even if local prosecutors decline to enforce an election law, the attorney general could launch an independent investigation.

Sen. Donald McEachin proposed an amendment to remove that broad power, and instead grant authority to conduct probes into whether a crime is part of an organized activity.

"I don't believe it's appropriate to have an attorney general just investigating willy-nilly," says McEachin. "But where there has been a crime committed, someone's been arrested or someone's been indicted, I think we do want the attorney general to investigate the matter."

Sen. Tom Garrett prosecuted two voter fraud cases as Louisa County commonwealth's attorney. He says the law is necessary because some similar cases referred by the State Police were not prosecuted elsewhere.

"Where you have the commonwealth's attorneys who are handed evidence by the State Police in 194 cases statewide based primarily upon the political inclinations of the locality or the affiliation of the commonwealth attorney, where you have those commonwealth's attorneys choosing not to enforce Virginia s laws, that's why this bill is needed," Garrett says.

The amendment was defeated by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling s tie-breaking vote. The measure now goes to the Governor.

NPR

On Television, More Transgender Characters Come Into Focus

Now that it's more common to see gay characters on TV, is the medium turning to transgender people for fresh stories? NPR's Neda Ulaby looks at TV's crop of transgender and "gender fluid" characters.
NPR

Obama Gets A Taste Of Jiro's 'Dream' Sushi In Name Of Diplomacy

President Barack Obama stopped by the iconic sushi restaurant featured in a 2012 documentary. Director David Gelb says eating there is both an amazing and nerve-wracking experience.
NPR

Pennsylvania Congresswoman Goes All In For Obamacare

Does Rep. Allyson Schwartz's pro-Affordable Care Act television ad signal a new thinking among Democrats running in statewide races?
NPR

Reports: FCC Poised For About-Face On Net Neutrality

According to reports, the FCC is set to approve a system in which Internet service providers offer a faster pipe to American homes to content companies willing to pay for it.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.