Virginia’s Department of Elections has found even more voters likely assigned to the wrong districts across the state following tight House of Delegates races last fall, including one tie determined by a random drawing, where the problem could have determined control of the chamber. The department has helped several local registrars and electoral boards identify misassigned voters since the significant issues were revealed following November’s election, according to a presentation set to be given Tuesday to the State Board of Elections. Northern Virginia registrars had already confirmed hundreds misassigned to the wrong state, federal or local districts just in this area. The House of Delegates ended up split 51-49 in favor of Republicans.
The voter assignment errors are largely blamed on data entry mistakes in the state’s voter registration database that was implemented in the mid-2000s. The system offers checkbox options to local elections officials to select the appropriate congressional, state Senate, House of Delegates and local government district assignments for groups of voters in a given range of addresses on a specific street.
The state does not require the use of any mapping software, and there is no requirement that any state or local agency double check the assignments.
Many of the wrongly assigned voters are very close to boundary lines for districts, but others are not and could have been clearly caught if the system included a check of maps, the presentation suggests. That includes misassigned voters between the 28th and 88th House districts in Stafford County and Fredericksburg, where some issues had been raised years before the tight 2017 election decided by fewer than 100 votes.