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Higher Number Of Seats In Virginia's House Of Delegates Are Contested

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While the Virginia gubernatorial campaign has garnered most of the media attention this year in the commonwealth, elections for all 100 seats of the House of Delegates are also on the ballot—and many more of those seats are contested this year than the last time House candidates ran two years ago.

Fifty-seven seats are contested in this election cycle, compared to 37 in 2011. More seats also have major-party challenges this year. State Election Lead Matthew Abell says the trend suggests more competitive House races in gubernatorial election years.

"In 2009, we had 54 contested races between the two major parties. In 2011, we had 27 contested races between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. And now in 2013, we have 44 contested races between the two major parties," he says.

Abell says statewide races can spur greater voter interest for the House. But competitive delegate or local races can also prompt higher turnout. "Fifty-plus counties electing some local representative. All the cities are electing at least one constitutional officer," he explains.

Some localities also have ballot questions, such as meals taxes. Abell says the State Board of Elections website can show all voters the ballots tailored to their localities.


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