BLACKSBURG – Lily Franklin, Democratic candidate for Virginia’s 41st House District, issued a statement Tuesday after her campaign “identified efforts to suppress turnout among Virginia Tech students and a doxxing campaign against her.”
The statement stemmed from two printed pieces of political literature that appeared Monday in House District 41. House District 41 covers parts of
Montgomery and Roanoke counties and includes all of Virginia Tech’s campus and much of the surrounding off-campus student housing. It is a battleground race for the Virginia House of Delegates.
Franklin’s campaign learned Monday that a large door hanger stating incorrect polling times was circulated in the Hunters Ridge Apartments, a popular off-campus apartment complex among students located off of Patrick Henry Drive in Blacksburg. The door hanger’s disclaimer says it was paid for by the Republican Party of Virginia and states that voters can cast their ballots “At your regular polling location between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.”
Polls are open across Virginia from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Voters in line at their correct polling location by 7 p.m. can cast their ballots.
The door hangers were left by a person donning a hat branded with the “Secure Your Vote” logo, Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s vote-by-mail campaign.
“This is blatant voter suppression. Evening voting is the most popular among
students, especially in the precincts on and around Virginia Tech’s campus,”
Franklin said. “It’s no coincidence that this is being distributed in a student-dense
area and omits the last hour of voting on Election Day. With only one week left
until Election Day, Republicans are deliberately suppressing the student vote every moment that they wait to correct this lie.”
The same day, HD-41 voters received a mailer urging them to call Franklin’s personal cell phone and “put the heat on her” to advocate for Virginia’s so-called Right-to-Work laws.
The mailer falsely states that Franklin “refused to say where she stands on protecting Virginia’s Right to Work Law, so put the heat on her to demand she oppose forced unionism today…” Franklin is a longtime advocate for repealing the Right-to-Work law and has said so on the record multiple times. She often cites her grandfather’s union saving his pension as the reason she didn’t grow up in poverty, but rather a working-class family.
The mailer doesn’t have a “paid for by” disclaimer as required by Virginia Code. The return address lists the National Right to Work Committee’s office based in Springfield,VA.
“Unlike the cowards who sent this mystery mailer, I’m willing to sign my name to the things I say,” Franklin stated. “So here’s my message to them: I’m not backing down. I’m running precisely because political garbage like this is getting in the way of folks earning a decent paycheck. In case there was any confusion about where I stand on this particular issue, I’ll always stand up for working-class
families like mine. I look forward to the day I get to vote to repeal Virginia’s arcane ‘Right-to-Work’ laws on the floor of the House of Delegates.”