Tazewell County Board of Supervisors votes to put Confederate statue removal on November ballot

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TAZEWELLE, VA (WVNS) — The Tazewell County Board of Supervisors made a decision regarding the Confederate statue in front of the Tazewell County Courthouse.

During a special meeting on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, the Board voted unanimously to send the issue of the statue removal to a referendum. This means the Board will petition the court to have the issue placed on the ballot for the November General Election.

The Board made this decision based on comments from 20 residents, petitions with hundreds of names, and multiple emails and letters.

“The Board received an overwhelming number of letters, petitions, emails and public comments on both sides of the issue. The members decided, because so many residents were concerned with the issue, that gathering a sense of our people’s will at any one meeting or even a series of meetings would be difficult under normal circumstances, if not impossible under current limitations. The Board concluded that a public referendum would be the best way to consider the desires of all concerned residents. Many names on the petitions are those of residents of other counties and states. Some are even citizens of Canada. Holding a referendum also helps the board clearly identify
the desires of our Tazewell County residents. If anyone is not registered to vote, they may
contact the County Registrar’s office to do so. The deadline is October 13th.” County Administrator Eric Young stated.

Communities in the Commonwealth were given the power to “remove, relocate, contextualize, cover
or alter” monuments. This comes after both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation and Governor Ralph Northam signed the bill. The law took effect on July 1, 2020. The law allows communities to hold a nonbinding, advisory referendum. A public hearing and public vote by the Board would be required before any action is taken.

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