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Virginia Beach wants feedback from residents on their election system

The city is holding a series of meetings before deciding whether to stay with the 10-1 system or consider an alternative system ahead of the 2024 Election cycle.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach City Council is considering changing how you vote again. 

Before they make any decision, they want to hear from residents through a series of community listening sessions.

Residents in Virginia Beach have mixed views on how they’d like to vote for city council and school board members. Some like the current 10-1 system, while others would like to go back to voting for every candidate on the ballot.

“I don’t know if I would want folks from other parts of Virginia Beach making decisions that impact me,” Shannon Kendrick said, a Virginia Beach resident.

“I would prefer the old at-large system,” Morgan Page said.

It's what Page is used to after living in Virginia Beach for over 20 years. An at-large system allows citizens to vote for every candidate running for city council and school board. 

A court order allowed the city to use a 10-1 system in last year’s election, meaning residents can only vote for candidates running in their district. The switch had some voters at the polls confused.

“It gets confusing, but I think…these things are happening for a reason,” Page continued.

City Council must decide whether to stay with the 10-1 system or consider alterative election systems in time for the 2024 election cycle. Shannon Kendrick prefers voting for candidates in her district.

“Whoever I select to represent this area, that affects my day-to-day life, I should be able to have a decision on that,” she said.

Kendrick feels that each section of the city comes with different concerns.

She thinks those impacted by those specific issues should have a say in who represents their district.

“Me being in Town Center, I don’t know if it makes sense for me to vote for or have a say on who represents the agricultural aspect of Virginia Beach," she explained.

The city set up a series of virtual and in-person meetings at multiple locations throughout the city in partnership with the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia. 

Here's a full list:

  • Saturday, March 25 | 5 – 6:30 p.m. @ Bayside Rec Center, 4500 First Court Rd.
  • Sunday, March 26 | 3:30 – 5 p.m. via Virtual Meeting
  • Monday, March 27 | 6:30 – 8 p.m @ Fairfield Elementary School, 5428 Providence Rd.
  • Tuesday, March 28 | 6:30 – 8 p.m @ Ocean Lakes High School, 885 Schuman Dr.
  • Wednesday, March 29 |10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m @ Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.
  • Wednesday, March 29 | 6:30 – 8 p.m @ Kellam High School, 2665 West Neck Rd.
  • Thursday, March 30 | 6:30 – 8 p.m. @ College Park Elementary School, 1110 Bennington Rd.
  • Friday, March 31 | 5:30 – 7 p.m. @ Williams Farm Recreation Center, 5252 Learning Cir.
  • Saturday, April 1 | 4:30 – 6 p.m. @ Advanced Technology Center, 1800 College Cres.
  • Sunday, April 2 | 3 – 4:30 p.m.@ Bow Creek Recreation Center, 3427 Club House Rd.
  • Monday, April 3 | 1 – 2:30 p.m. via Virtual Meeting
  • Monday, April 3 | 6:30 – 8 p.m. @ First Colonial High School, 1272 Mill Dam Rd.

After the input meetings, the city will release a survey. Feedback will be captured by the event moderators and provided to City Council in a final report.

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