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Stories about Virginia

Yesli Vega wins Republican primary in VA-07

Yesli Vega defeated Derrick Anderson, Bryce Reeves, Crystal Vanuch, and two other candidates in the Republican primary for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District on June 21, 2022. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) is running for re-election in the redrawn 7th District. Vega had 29% of the vote to Anderson’s 24%, Reeves’ 20%, and Vanuch’s 17%.

At the time of the primary, Vega served on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and worked in law enforcement. Her campaign website detailed a platform that included advocating for the “conservative values of freedom, limited government, the rule of law, and a firm reliance on our Creator.” Former U.S. Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), who lost to Spanberger in 2018, endorsed Vega, along with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Anderson served as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army. After retiring from active duty, he received a J.D. from Georgetown University. In Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey, Anderson listed his three priorities as “standing up for our veterans, keeping our country and communities safe, and stand up for our conservative values.” Based on fundraising totals reported to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in April 2022, Anderson led the field in fundraising and spending. U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Greene County Supervisor Davis Lamb endorsed Anderson.

Reeves was elected to the Virginia State Senate in 2011. He served in the U.S. Army and worked for the Prince William County Police Vice/Narcotics Bureau. Reeves raised and spent the second-most of the six candidates based on FEC reporting. Reeves campaigned on his legislative record and his history of winning in what he called “Democrat districts,” citing victories in 2011 and 2019. U.S. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and state Del. Nick Freitas (R) endorsed Reeves.

At the time of the primary, Vanuch served on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors and worked in the healthcare field helping individuals with terminal or chronic illnesses find affordable treatment. In Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey, Vanuch listed her three priorities as decreasing government spending, defending law enforcement, and supporting the right of parents to make decisions for their children. U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) endorsed Vanuch.

The general election is expected to be competitive. Three independent forecasting outlets rated the general election as Toss-up, Lean Democratic, and Tilt Democratic. Nathan Gonzales of Roll Call said that President Joe Biden (D) would have won the district by seven percentage points in the 2020 presidential election and Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) would have won the district by six points in the 2021 gubernatorial election. Spanberger defeated Brat by two points in 2018 and Freitas by two points in 2020.

Also running in the primary were Gina Ciarcia and David Ross.



Virginia attorney general raised $7.4 million in 2021 election

According to campaign finance reports filed with the Virginia Department of Elections, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares raised $7.4 million and spent $6.9 million between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 1, 2021. Miyares ranked fourth in state-level donations in the 2021 election cycle.

Miyares is a member of the Republican Party and assumed office in 2022. In Virginia, the attorney general is an elected position. The primary job of a state attorney general is to serve as chief legal adviser to the agencies and legislative organs that make up his or her state’s government, in addition to the citizens residing within the state. Miyares’ current term ends in 2025.

Miyares’ reported campaign finance activity, by quarter (2016-2021)

Source: Transparency USA

Contributions to Miyares

Of the $7.4 million reported in the 2021 election cycle, 58.5 percent came from the top 10 donors.

Top Donors to Miyares (1/1/2022 – 12/31/2021)

RankTotal AmountDonor NameDonor Type
1.$2,600,000.00Republican Attorneys General Association FederalENTITY
2.$785,059.00Republican Party of Virginia IncENTITY
3.$266,000.00Dominion Energy Inc PAC – VirginiaENTITY
4.$205,000.00Haulover Creek Development Company LLCENTITY
5.$119,500.00Jason MiyaresENTITY
6.$105,000.00Richard Baxter GilliamINDIVIDUAL
7.$75,000.00Virginia Wins PAC IncENTITY
8.$50,000.00Ads IncENTITY
9.$50,000.00New Dominion PACENTITY
10.$50,000.00Tiger Lily Capital LLCENTITY

Expenditures by Miyares

Miyares reported $6.9 million in expeditures, with 88.5 percent going to the 10 payees topping this list. 

Top Expenditures by Miyares (1/1/2022 – 12/31/2021)

RankTotal AmountPayee NamePayee Type
1.$4,928,773.32On Message IncENTITY
2.$305,050.00Republican Party of Virginia IncENTITY
3.$181,540.00Creative Direct LLCENTITY
4.$135,568.80The Coefficient GroupENTITY
5.$119,500.00Jason MiyaresENTITY
6.$109,190.59Bay Armoury LLCENTITY
7.$88,889.45Fp1 Strategies LLCENTITY
8.$84,655.00Christina M HeathINDIVIDUAL
9.$81,696.95Msp Design GroupENTITY
10.$78,212.46Klarke KilgoreINDIVIDUAL

Attorney general elections in 2022

Across the U.S., 27 attorney generals are members of the Republican Party and 23 are members of the Democratic Party. Voters elect the attorney general in 43 states, while they are chosen by a state government organ in the other seven. In 2022, 30 states are holding elections for the position.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia PACs submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/15/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual 7/15/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/15/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Virginia Democratic candidates raised $66.6 million more than Republicans

In Virginia, state-level candidates raised $277.1 million between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2021. Democratic candidates raised $165.2 million and Republican candidates raised $98.4 million. 

Virginia Campaign Finance Snapshot (1/1/2020 – 12/31/2021)

Top 10 Democratic candidates, by donations (1/1/2020 – 12/31/2021)

In the 2021 election cycle, 221 state-level Democrats filed campaign finance reports with the Virginia Department of Elections. Here are the 10 Democratic candidates who have raised the most.

RankDemocratic CandidateTotal Raised
1.Terry McAuliffe$68,384,990.64
2.Mark Herring$9,338,490.37
3.Hala Ayala$6,886,606.80
4.Jennifer Carroll Foy$5,046,089.31
5.Jennifer McClellan$3,218,770.09
6.Wendy Gooditis$3,092,764.95
7.Joshua Cole$2,432,595.79
8.Jerrauld Jay Jones$2,387,016.18
9.Alex Askew$2,310,903.46
10.Nancy Guy$2,176,088.83

Top 10 Republican candidates, by donations (1/1/2020 – 12/31/2021)

During the same time period, 190 Republicans filed campaign finance reports with the Virginia Department of Elections. These are the 10 Republican candidates with the highest reported donations for the 2021 election cycle.

RankRepublican CandidateTotal Raised
1.Glenn Youngkin$50,103,909.61
2.Jason Miyares$7,366,113.43
3.Winsome Sears$3,075,517.28
4.Kirk Cox$1,886,918.30
5.Pete Snyder$1,846,980.52
6.Nick Clemente$1,807,633.53
7.Tara Durant$1,120,362.66
8.Jason Ballard$1,088,693.65
9.Karen Greenhalgh$1,074,349.64
10.Mary Margaret Kastelberg$980,125.18

In some states, officeholders may accept donations to their campaign accounts when they are not up for election. Those donations are included in candidate campaign finance numbers.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia candidate PACs submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/15/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual 7/15/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/15/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Virginia has no open U.S. House seats for the first time in a decade

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Virginia this year was April 7, 2022. Thirty-three candidates are running for Virginia’s 11 U.S. House districts, including 12 Democrats and 21 Republicans. That’s three candidates per district, more than the 2.36 candidates per district in 2020 and less than the 4.09 in 2018.

This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Virginia was apportioned 11 districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.

All 11 incumbents filed to run for re-election, meaning there are no open seats this year for the first time since 2012.

  • There are five contested primaries — one Democratic and four Republican — this year. That’s the fewest contested primaries since 2014, when four primaries were contested.
  • Two incumbents — Rep. Ben Cline (R) from the 6th district and Rep. Don Beyer (D) from the 8th district — face primary challengers. That’s the same as every year since 2014, except for 2016, when only one incumbent faced a primary challenger.
  • Republican and Democratic candidates filed to run in all 11 districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year. 
  • Seven candidates, including incumbent Abigail Spanberger (D), are running in the 7th district. That’s the most candidates running in a district holding primaries this year.

Virginia is holding primary elections on June 21. In Virginia, political parties decide for themselves whether to nominate their candidates via primary or convention, and the non-primary methods of nomination may take place on a date other than the statewide primary. Six congressional district committees  — two Democratic and four Republican  — chose to hold nominating conventions or caucuses instead of primaries this year. Ballotpedia does not include statistics from nominating conventions or caucuses in its overall primary competitiveness calculations.

Additional reading:



Six candidates running in the Republican primary for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District

Six candidates are running in the Republican primary for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District on June 21, 2022. Derrick Anderson, Bryce Reeves, Crystal Vanuch, and Yesli Vega have raised the most money. Incumbent Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) is running for re-election in the redrawn 7th District.

Anderson served as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army. After retiring from active duty, he received a J.D. from Georgetown University. In Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey, Anderson listed his three priorities as “standing up for our veterans, keeping our country and communities safe, and stand up for our conservative values.” Based on fundraising totals reported to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in April 2022, Anderson led the field in fundraising and spending. U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Greene County Supervisor Davis Lamb endorsed Anderson.

Reeves was elected to the Virginia State Senate in 2012. He served in the U.S. Army and worked for the Prince William County Police Vice/Narcotics Bureau. Reeves raised and spent the second most of the six candidates. Reeves has campaigned on his legislative record and his history of winning in what he called “Democrat districts,” citing victories in 2011 and 2019. The National Republican Congressional Committee, U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Del. Nick Freitas endorsed Reeves.

Vanuch serves on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors and has experience working in the health care field helping individuals with terminal or chronic illnesses find affordable treatment. In Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey, Vanuch listed her three priorities as decreasing government spending, defending law enforcement, and supporting the right of parents to make decisions for their children. U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) endorsed Vanuch.

Vega serves on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and has experience working in law enforcement. Her campaign website detailed a platform that included advocating for the “conservative values of freedom, limited government, the rule of law, and a firm reliance on our Creator.” Former U.S. Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), who lost to Spanberger in 2018, endorsed Vega, along with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The general election is expected to be competitive. Three independent race forecasting outlets rated the race Toss-up, Lean Democratic, and Tilt Democratic. Nathan Gonzales of Roll Call said that President Joe Biden (D) would have won the district by seven points in the 2020 presidential election and Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) would have won the district by six points in the 2021 gubernatorial election. Spanberger defeated Brat by two points in 2018 and Freitas by two points in 2020.

Also running in the primary are Gina Ciarcia and David Ross.



Virginia Democratic candidates spent $22.23 million more than Republicans

In Virginia, state-level candidates spent $255.34 million between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2021. Democratic candidates spent $132.83 million and Republican candidates spent $110.60 million. 

Virginia Campaign Finance Snapshot (1/1/2020 – 12/31/2021)

Source: Transparency USA

Top 10 Democratic candidates, by expenditures (1/1/2020 – 12/31/2021)

In the 2021 election cycle, 221 state-level Democrats filed campaign finance reports with the Virginia Department of Elections. Here are the 10 Democratic candidates who have spent the most.

RankDemocratic CandidateTotal Spent
1.Terry McAuliffe$59,040,719.06
2.Mark Herring$6,897,236.45
3.Hala Ayala$5,184,354.63
4.Jennifer Carroll Foy$4,666,463.33
5.Jerrauld Jay Jones$2,354,273.03
6.Jennifer McClellan$2,329,875.31
7.Wendy Gooditis$2,068,307.49
8.Sam Rasoul$2,017,097.63
9.Dan Helmer$1,835,985.18
10.Roz Tyler$1,656,554.35

Top 10 Republican candidates, by expenditures (1/1/2020 – 12/31/2021)

During the same time period, 190 Republicans filed campaign finance reports with the Virginia Department of Elections. These are the 10 Republican candidates with the highest reported expenditures for the 2021 election cycle.

RankRepublican CandidateTotal Spent
1.Glenn Youngkin$63,715,391.58
2.Pete Snyder$7,546,638.74
3.Jason Miyares$6,911,028.94
4.Winsome Sears$2,799,386.67
5.Kirk Cox$1,892,828.71
6.Nick Clemente$1,253,893.16
7.Paul Milde$1,197,793.80
8.Tara Durant$904,738.71
9.Mary Margaret Kastelberg$873,758.63
10.Glenn Davis$867,027.33

In some states, officeholders may make expenditures from their campaign accounts when they are not up for election. Those expenditures are included in candidate campaign finance numbers.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia candidate PACs submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/15/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual 7/15/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/15/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Facebook was paid $4.49 million from Virginia campaign accounts

In Virginia, state-level candidates and PACs spent $4.49 million from their campaign accounts on services from Facebook in the 2021 election cycle. Facebook received 1.06 percent of all reported expenditures. 

According to reports filed with the Virginia Department of Elections between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2021, here are the top candidates and PACs that spent campaign funds with Facebook.

Top 10 Virginia campaigns spending money with Facebook

Of the $4,486,863 spent with Facebook, 90.36 percent came from these 10 campaign accounts.

Top Campaign Expenditures with Facebook (1/1/2020 – 12/31/2021)

RankTotal Paid to FacebookNameAccount Type
1.$3,736,097.89Terry McAuliffeCandidate PAC
2.$100,473.28Vote Yes Richmond Wins!Non-candidate PAC
3.$39,889.76Vote Yes PortsmouthNon-candidate PAC
4.$31,106.28Tim AndersonCandidate PAC
5.$30,445.30Jennifer KitchenCandidate PAC
6.$29,884.39Stephen E HeretickCandidate PAC
7.$23,744.35Dawn AdamsCandidate PAC
8.$22,491.16Vote Yes for BristolNon-candidate PAC
9.$20,585.91Jennifer Carroll FoyCandidate PAC
10.$19,567.46Kathy ByronCandidate PAC

Campaign expenditures with Facebook in 12 states

Here is how spending with Facebook in Virginia compares to 12 other states with data available from Transparency USA for the most recent election cycle:

Comparison of total campaign finance expenditures with Facebook, by state

RankStateTotal Paid to FacebookReporting Period
1California$5,290,7451/1/2021- 4/23/2022
2Virginia$4,486,8631/1/2020-12/31/2021*
3Texas$2,675,2761/1/2021 – 5/14/2022
4Michigan$194,1801/1/2021 – 4/20/2022
5Minnesota$166,0721/1/2021 – 3/31/2022
6Arizona123,1541/1/2021 – 3/31/2022
7Pennsylvania$106,5131/1/2021 – 3/9/2022
8Wisconsin$101,9781/1/2021 – 3/21/2022
9North Carolina$78,9601/1/2021 – 4/30/2022
10Florida$38,5421/1/2021 – 3/31/202
11Indiana$29,5341/1/2021 – 4/8/2022
12Ohio$19,9241/1/2021 – 4/13/2022
*Virginia’s two-year election cycles end in an odd-numbered year. The first available reports for Virginia’s 2023 election cycle are due Jul. 17, 2022.

While spending varies widely between states, no state on Transparency USA has reported more than 1.06 percent of total campaign expenditures on services from Facebook in the most recent cycle.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia PACs submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/15/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual 7/15/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/15/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Here are the top 10 places Virginia candidates and PACs are spending campaign money

In Virginia politics, state-level candidates and PACs spent $424.06 million between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2021. More than $99.40 million or 23.44 percent of all campaign finance expenditures went to the 10 payees at the top of the list. 

A payee is an entity or individual who has received money from a campaign account. Candidates and PACs must report campaign expenditures, including payments to vendors, donations to other campaign accounts, and bank transfers, to the Virginia Department of Elections.

Top 10 Virginia payees (1/1/2020 – 12/31/2021)

Here are the top 10 recipients of Virginia campaign money in the 2021 election cycle, as of the most recent reports. 

RankPayee Name Total Received
1.Smart Media Group LLC$29,705,137.26
2.Grassroots Media$27,104,769.21
3.Sage Media Planning & Placement Inc$6,623,440.38
4.Google Inc$6,381,010.05
5.Buying Time Media LLC$5,684,227.35
6.On Message Inc$5,464,979.19
7.Braddock Road Strategies$4,973,554.00
8.Strategic Media Placement$4,603,940.43
9.Facebook Inc$4,486,863.02
10.Axiom Strategies LLC$4,373,612.44

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia PACs submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/15/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual (and Post-Primary)7/15/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/15/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



The top 10 Virginia candidates raised 34.1% of all donations

In Virginia politics, state-level candidates and PACs raised $465.5 million between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2021. More than $158.9 million or 34.1 percent of all donations was raised by the 10 individuals at the top of the list. 

Top 10 Virginia candidates (1/1/2020 – 12/31/2021)

Here are the 10 Virginia candidates who raised the most money in the 2021 election cycle, according to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the Virginia Department of Elections. 

RankCandidate Name Total DonationsTotal Expenditures
1.Terry McAuliffe$68,384,990.64$59,040,719.06
2.Glenn Youngkin$50,103,909.61$63,715,391.58
3.Mark Herring$9,338,490.37$6,897,236.45
4.Jason Miyares$7,366,113.43$6,911,028.94
5.Hala Ayala$6,886,606.80$5,184,354.63
6.Jennifer Carroll Foy$5,046,089.31$4,666,463.33
7.Jennifer McClellan$3,218,770.09$2,329,875.31
8.Wendy Gooditis$3,092,764.95$2,068,307.49
9.Winsome Sears$3,075,517.28$2,799,386.67
10.Joshua Cole$2,432,595.79$1,648,880.68

In some states, officeholders may accept donations to their campaign accounts when they are not up for election. Any reported donations by those officeholders are included in candidate donation numbers.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia candidate PACs submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/15/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual (and Post-Primary)7/15/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/15/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



ActBlue Virginia receives more than every other Virginia PAC with $38.86 million

ActBlue Virginia, a conduit PAC, has received more money than any other non-candidate political action committee (PAC) in Virginia’s 2021 election cycle. According to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the Virginia Department of Elections, ActBlue Virginia received $38.86 million and distributed $38.86 million between Jan. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31. 2021. 

A PAC is a group that spends money on elections. A non-candidate PAC may be established by and affiliated with corporations, labor unions, membership organizations, or trade associations. A candidate PAC is directly associated with a candidate or officeholder. Conduit PACs, such as ActBlue, are a subset of non-candidate PACs through which individuals can donate to candidate PACs.

In Virginia politics, donations through ActBlue Virginia represent 20.63 percent of the $188.04 million given to state-level PACs in Virginia. Here are the individuals who gave the most to and candidate PACs that received the most from ActBlue Virginia, as reported to the Virginia Department of Elections.

Contributions through ActBlue Virginia

Of the $38,864,163 given through ActBlue Virginia in the 2021 election cycle, 6.52 percent came from its top 10 givers.

Top Givers through ActBlue Virginia (1/1/2020 – 12/31/2021)

RankTotal AmountDonor NameDonor Type
1.$463,700.00Leonard A BennettIndividual
2.$364,050.00Ronald D AbramsonIndividual
3.$363,533.34Karla JurvetsonIndividual
4.$283,500.00Robert D HardieIndividual
5.$258,000.00Seiu CopeIndividual
6.$214,500.00Vinton G CerfIndividual
7.$170,000.00Robert LintonIndividual
8.$155,100.00Thomas J McInerneyIndividual
9.$131,000.00James A HixonIndividual
10.$130,860.00John P RathboneIndividual

Distributions by ActBlue Virginia

On the distribution side, ActBlue Virginia reported $38,861,830, with 54.55 percent of all distributions going to the 10 payees topping the list. Payees include both contribution recipients and vendors, as filed by ActBlue Virginia.

Top ActBlue Virginia Payees (1/1/2020 – 12/31/2021)

RankTotal AmountPayee NamePayee Type
1.$10,396,327.43Terry McAuliffeEntity
2.$1,775,128.96Jennifer Carroll FoyEntity
3.$1,587,345.52Sam RasoulEntity
4.$1,509,679.32Actblue VirginiaEntity
5.$1,376,047.33Mark HerringEntity
6.$1,267,495.30Common Good VAEntity
7.$1,177,642.17Hala AyalaEntity
8.$794,730.03Jennifer McClellanEntity
9.$705,562.46Jerrauld Jay JonesEntity
10.$608,164.30Energized for Change PACEntity

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Virginia PACs submitted to the Virginia Department of Elections. Federal PACs are not required to report to state agencies. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/15/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual (and Post-Primary)7/15/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/15/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.