The State Board of Elections on Monday delayed certification of Virginia’s election results until later this week, giving additional time to the Richmond voter registrar’s office, which is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. State elections officials said they had local certification in hand from Virginia’s other 132 cities and counties and they expect to certify the state results later this week. Chris Piper, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, told the board that, “Overall, Virginia had an incredibly successful election” with no major issues reported on Election Day, which was Nov. 3. The meeting came as President Donald Trump continues to make unsubstantiated claims about widespread voter fraud in his loss to Joe Biden. Coming during the pandemic, Virginia’s election drew an unprecedented 2.8 million early voters, 1.8 million of them voting in person and 1 million through mailed ballots. Nearly 1.6 million people voted on Election Day. Virginia elections officials and legislators already are looking at potential changes to how registrars report results. Some Virginians were confused because Republicans dominated votes cast on Election Day, but Democrats pulled ahead in a number of contests late that night once localities reported votes cast in advance that skewed Democratic.
A statewide audit of Virginia’s 2020 election results verified President Joe Biden’s victory in the state, finding only a 0.00000065117% chance the state’s voting system could have produced an inaccurate outcome. “Election officials are over 99% confident in the reported outcome,” Karen Hoyt-Stewart, voting technology manager at the Virginia Department of Elections, told the State Board of Elections as she presented the audit report Wednesday. The only way to reach 100% certainty would be for officials to manually review every ballot cast in the state. In other words, the audit found there’s almost zero chance a full recount would show a different outcome. The risk-limiting audit, more of a mathematical exercise than an expansive investigation into how ballots were cast and counted, involved checking a random sample of paper ballots against the results reported by scanner machines. Local officials throughout the state pulled a total of 1,372 ballots to measure statistical confidence in the reported results. Biden received 756 of those votes, former President Donald Trump received 572, Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen received 25 and eight ballots were cast for write-in candidates, according to the report.