Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

The Commonwealth of Virginia continues to deal with COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), a respiratory illness that originated in Wuhan, China, last year and has since spread throughout the world. In an effort to slow the spread of the disease in the Commonwealth, Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA) has imposed a number of restrictions. We are now going through a phased reopening.

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Toyota Prius

The ugliness continues! Only one model on last year’s list—the Smart Fortwo—has been discontinued (in the U.S. market), making room for a newcomer from Nissan. And while the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe have been redesigned, they’re still just as ugly as their predecessors.

The criteria for inclusion are unchanged. I don’t include models that aren’t sold in the United States. I don’t include models that sell in very low volume (and volume is defined subjectively based on how many I see on the highways in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area). I don’t include exotic, military, or special-purpose vehicles, or vehicles reserved exclusively for the commercial market like the persistently horrific Ram Promaster.

This list is my personal opinion. If you own one of the cars on this list . . . well . . . don’t take it (too) personally.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) has won a majority of available delegates for the Democratic presidential nomination and is now the presumptive Democratic nominee. Biden had been all-but-assured to win the nomination after his only remaining competitor, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), dropped out of the race in April.

With wins in several states that held Democratic primaries on Tuesday, vote counting in the days since had awarded Biden a majority and he is now practically guaranteed to receive his party’s nomination. This likely would have occurred earlier, but many state primaries were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden is expected to be formally nominated at the Democratic National Convention, which is now scheduled to be held in August. It had been previously scheduled for July but it, too, was delayed due to the pandemic.

President Donald Trump (R), who faced no national opposition in the primaries, became the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee when he won a majority of available delegates in March. The Republican National Convention is scheduled to be held in August.

Primary elections for the Democratic and Republican parties will be held on June 23, 2020. They were originally scheduled for June 9, but have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Off on a Tangent is making recommendations to party primary voters in each contested state- and federal-level primary race in Virginia. Primaries for the office of president were held earlier in the year and were reviewed in a separate article.

Political parties are private organizations that should not have any official standing in our political system, but Democratic and Republican primaries are held by the Virginia Department of Elections and are funded by Virginia taxpayers. The purpose of a party primary should be for members of that party to choose who will represent them on the general election ballot. Virginia, however, has an “open primary” system where any registered voter may vote in any one (but not more than one) primary each year.

This series of recommendations only applies to taxpayer-funded primaries. Both the Republican and Democratic parties are making some of their nominations at party conventions. The Libertarian Party, which currently qualifies as a major party under the Tangent style guide (section 10.70), nominates its candidates in party conventions.

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South Riding Proprietary

The South Riding Proprietary is a homeowners’ association (HOA) that acts as a defacto local government for the South Riding community in Loudoun County, Virginia. At the proprietary’s annual meeting on May 19, 2020, three seats on the Board of Directors are up for election. Members of the board serve three year terms. South Riding property owners may cast votes for these three board seats either by attending the annual meeting in person, or by submitting a proxy vote ahead of time. Proxy votes may be cast using paper ballots that were mailed to property owners, or electronically on the South Riding Proprietary web site.

The annual meeting must achieve a quorum (combining in-person attendance and proxy ballots) of at least ten percent of all South Riding property owners. If a quorum is not achieved, the meeting will be recessed for a period of less than thirty days. At the resumption of the meeting, a quorum of only five percent is required. The meeting may then be repeatedly recessed and resumed until the five percent quorum is achieved. The South Riding Board of Directors cannot seat members or perform any official work without a quorum.

Five candidates appear on the director ballot: Dr. Gopal Bethi, David Christopher Brent, Kip Lowe, Karen MacDowell, and Gary Smith. Property owners may vote for up to three candidates, and may write-in other names if desired.

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