Liberty, through the lens

Get people talking about politics this year, and the conversation is impassioned, often difficult, sometimes searching: What is the proper role for government in America today? What’s a safety net and what’s a handout? Where do my rights stop and yours begin? From now through Election Day, Washington Post journalists are traveling through one of the newest battleground states, Virginia, to listen in as voters wrestle with the issues of 2012.

Voters' voices

Q:

Regardless of who you support, which candidate do you trust to do a better job addressing women's issues – Obama or Romney? Why?

Photo essay

The women of Virginia

Pride in the founding fathers endures in one of the newest battleground states, with some of the nation's richest and poorest counties. For this first photoessay, we interviewed more than 40 women, from all walks of life, across Virginia. They speak in different voices but are adamant on this: Women's issues are everybody's issues. And women voters count. It took a deeply conservative Virginia 32 years to ratify the Constitutional amendment that extended the right to vote to women in 1920; now, they turn out more reliably than men.

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EXIT

PORTRAITS: Melina Mara; PHOTO ESSAY: Bonnie Jo Mount; WRITING: Ann Gerhart; DESIGN: Grace Koerber; AUDIO: Nick Kirkpatrick - The Washington Post. Published July 3, 2012.

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