This summer, the Supreme Court upheld some critical checks and balances crucial to sustaining our democracy. But the threat of rightwing attempts to undermine a free and fair presidential election isn’t completely gone. SCOTUS ruled that state legislatures do not have absolute power to create rules for federal elections outside of their state constitutions without the oversight of the governor and courts. In states like Wisconsin, pro-democracy governors can block a rightwing-majority legislature from ignoring the will of their voters and determining the results of a presidential election.
In states with rightwing governors, however, pro-democracy state legislative majorities will be even more crucial as a buffer against a rightwing move to undermine the election.
Enter Virginia, where the entire legislature is up for election this November, and there is a shape-shifting and ambitious rightwing governor. Holding one chamber will be the only way to block rightwing attempts to step in and undermine the presidential election.
Whether Virginia’s 13 electoral votes are at risk of being stolen by the rightwing is critical to winning the Electoral College — states with rightwing trifectas make these 13 electors the tipping point to get to 270 and the White House. Whether we can have confidence that people’s votes for the presidency will matter comes down to state legislative elections in Virginia this November.