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City leaders hold meeting to discuss new voting system in Virginia Beach

The meeting comes after a heated debate over voter transparency between Mayor Bobby Dyer and Council Member Aaron Rouse.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — On Monday, more than a dozen Virginia Beach residents met to discuss the new voting system taking place in November. 

The meeting comes after a heated debate over voter transparency between Mayor Bobby Dyer and Council Member Aaron Rouse.

“I feel like, in Virginia Beach, that our vote was never important as a minority," said Tammie Mullins-Rice, a Virginia Beach resident and president of the Seatack Community Civic League. 

The November election will be the first time a district voting system will be used in the city. This means residents can only vote for council candidates in their district and have an at-large mayor, also known as a 10-1 system. 

Some residents said the new system will give their vote more value when council candidates are elected.

“Now you have to be accountable because those same people that vote you in can vote you out because we're not moving, we’re staying in our district," said Mullins-Rice. 

Rouse held the meeting for voters and said he wants to make sure all voices are heard this November. 

Resident Elsie Harris said she found the meeting informative.

“I'm reading more, I'm learning more about it and all I want to see is the right thing done for the right people," said Harris. 

“We just have to get people in on the city council who can support the efforts of all people," said Mullins-Rice.

Staff members with the Virginia Beach Voter Registration and Elections Office said they will also answer questions about the new voting system at the city council meeting on Tuesday. Members made a presentation showing proposed changes from redistricting and the 10-1 system.

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