|New voting machines purchased by Fairfax County on display at George Mason Regional Library Sept. 8 . The one on the right is for people with disabilities.|
Voters on Nov. 4 will have an opportunity to choose among three candidates for the U.S. Senate: the Democratic incumbent, Mark Warner, Republican Ed Gillespie, and Libertarian Robert Sarvis.
Warner, a former technology entrepreneur, served as governor of Virginia in 2002-06. He was elected to the Senate in 2008, with 72 percent of the vote. In the Senate, he has focused on reducing the federal debt, ending taxpayer bailouts of huge banks, helping members of the military, immigration reform, and energy independence.
He serves on the Senate committees on Finance; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Budget; Intelligence; and Rules and Administration.
Gillespie, former chair of the Republican National Committee, was chosen by delegates to the 2014 Republican State Convention. A long-time aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Gillespie chaired Robert McDonnell’s campaign for governor.
According to his website, Gillespie supports repealing the Affordable Care Act, deregulating energy industries, reducing corporate taxes, incorporating choice and competition into the education system, and a more limited role for government.
Sarvis, a resident of Annandale, has experience as an entrepreneur, software engineer, math teacher, and lawyer, according to his campaign website. He ran for governor in 2013 as a libertarian, getting 6.5 percent of the vote, the best showing by a third-party candidate in Virginia since 1965.
According to Ballotpedia, Warner is ahead in the polls, with 47 percent of voters supporting Warner, 22 percent favoring Gillespie, and 5 percent for Sarvis.
There are a couple of new developments for this year’s election: You’ll need a photo ID to vote, and there will be new voting machines. Voters will mark a paper ballot that will be scanned by the new machines. The paper ballots can be used in case there is a recount.
To be able to vote in the Nov. 4 election, you need to be registered by 5 p.m. on Oct. 14.
Absentee in-person voting begins Sept. 19 at the Fairfax County Government Center and Sept. 27 at satellite voting locations, including the Mason Government Center. To vote absentee by mail, you can download a ballot application form or pick one up at government offices or libraries.