There's a story that explains why Virginia's state elections don't fall on the same year as federal elections.
According to this story, Harry Byrd, a former governor who also once ran the Democratic Party machine that, in turn ran Virginia, was not happy with the national Democratic Party. In order to avoid having his Democrats associated with national Democrats, he arranged for Virginia's state elections to fall on odd numbered years. He was afraid that an association with the national party would cost his party votes in state elections.
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