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Harrisonburg mayor Deanna Reed will be on the ballot this November

Harrisonburg mayor Deanna Reed announced she was running for re-election in March 2020.
Harrisonburg mayor Deanna Reed announced she was running for re-election in March 2020.(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 7:38 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Harrisonburg mayor Deanna Reed will be on the ballot this November.

On Tuesday, Virginia’s Board of Elections approved an extension on the filing deadline for all candidates who missed the deadline in June.

Reed missed the deadline last month to be on the ballot. The Harrisonburg Democratic Committee filed for an extension on her behalf. On Tuesday, the committee discussed the idea of an extension for close to an hour.

Normally, the filing deadline coincides with polls closing on Primary Election Day. This year, the primary was pushed back because of COVID-19, but the filing deadline was not pushed back. Several people participating in the meeting spoke against the extension. Aria Branch, legal counsel for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, argued the board was not permitted to allow an extension. Since it has to be a ten-day extension, the deadline is now July 17, over a month after the original deadline.

"In previous situations where the board has granted an extension request, it has been under very limited circumstances, typically only a few days of the date of the deadline," Branch said.

However, some argued for an extension, saying it is up to the parties to choose candidates.

"The challenge is that our own primary processes are being ignored in order to utilize these forms," Alleyn Harned, chair of the Harrisonburg Democratic Committee, said. "I would flag that there is, we go through at the local level, extensive work to enfranchise, to engage, to support the voting public, and we want to be sure that those votes are heard."

Even if the extension was not granted, Reed could have still conducted a write-in campaign, like Delegate Nick Freitas did last year, after missing the deadline.

"This is important for the democratic process and it allows voters to easily connect with the ballot form," Harned said. "Just moving forward with this makes voting easier."

For the second straight election, Freitas also requested a deadline extension. Bob Good, who defeated Denver Riggleman for the 5th District Republican nomination, and Nick Betts, a Democrat challenging Ben Cline in the 6th District, also needed an extension.

The committee wondered in the meeting why there has been a failure to get documents in on time in recent elections and acknowledged they were in a difficult position. The motion passed 2-1.

Copyright 2020 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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