A last-minute change means Fairfax County voters who cast provisional ballots may face troubles getting them counted. Nearly 500 voters cast provisional ballots in the county, many more across Virginia, in Tuesday’s election. But the promise from Democratic and Republican parties to make sure their ballots got counted is now no good. The state Electoral Board decided Friday to change the rules that had been followed in Fairfax County and ban legal representatives from stepping in to help get the ballot counted, unless the voter him or herself is there. County Electoral Board Secretary Brian Shoeneman says he and board chairman Seth Stark disagree with the ruling, but they have to comply. The board is voting on some provisional ballots later Saturday. “The office of the Attorney General advised us that this was the correct reading of the statute,” State Board of Elections Secretary Don Palmer says.
He says the State Board of Elections has always interpreted the policy this way and issued the reminder guidance Friday after learning about Fairfax County’s plans to allow advocates to represent voters without the voter present.
Election officials in Fairfax County say they have allowed the representation for years and only stopped it because of the memo sent out Friday.
The local board of elections will still consider any written evidence that voters submitted.