Virginia residents 60 and older will elect in May the state's first model general assembly for older Virginians.

Called the Silver-Haired Legislature and modeled after the General Assembly, the 40 "senators" and 100 "delegates" will meet Aug. 7 through 10 at the state capitol in Richmond to become more involved in the legislative process and to increase public understanding of the interests of the elderly.

They will draft bills, attend committee meetings and sessions of the House and Senate and vote on bills they introduced at their sessions.

Anyone who is 60 or older and registered to vote in Virginia may run for the Silver-Haired Legislature. Potential candidates may obtain petitions from their Area Agency on Aging. The petitions, which must be signed by 50 persons who are 60 or older and live in the candidate's voting district, must be turned in by April 8.

People 60 and older may vote in the silver-haired election for candidates representing the Senate or House district in which the voter lives. Voters do not have to be registered to vote in regular elections in order to vote in the silver-haired election.

Ballots will be available in April from the Virginia Department for the Aging.