A political and legal tussle is gaining force in Northern Virginia over guaranteeing a fair vote on Election Day. Fairfax County Democrats are complaining that Republican-appointed county elections officials are breaking or twisting some rules to help the GOP in the biggest jurisdiction in a key swing state. The arguments might end up in court in the next two weeks. The disputes are mainly over Republicans’ plans to restrict activities by party lawyers and other elections observers inside polling places and to limit access to provisional ballots while a decision is made on whether to count them. The GOP says that federal and state law support its policies. Democrats say that the Republicans are violating or misinterpreting the law, with the possible result that legitimate votes will go uncounted.
“At some point, we must consider litigation. We would be reckless if we don’t make some of these concerns known,” said Cesar del Aguila, chairman of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, who raised some of the concerns in writing as far back as January. Democrats also worry that the process could be tainted because some top officials in the Republican-controlled county election apparatus have records as aggressive GOP partisans.