Virginia

Articles about voting issues in Virginia.

Virginia: More misassigned voters found in Virginia, Board of Elections separately to correct November results | WTOP

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. Read More

Virginia: On primary day in Virginia, officials say they’re preparing for more cyberthreats against elections | StateScoop

As five more states hold primary elections Tuesday, one of the biggest concerns in this year’s voting cycle continues to be how secure ballot systems are. But the lead elections official in Arlington County, Virginia, is confident votes there will be counted without issue. “We have a practical, low-key approach,” said Linda Lindberg, Arlington’s director of elections. Arlington is a bit of a model citizen for how jurisdictions conduct elections. Lindberg’s “practical” hews closely to what many ballot-security advocates call for: recording votes on paper ballots, which are then counted by optical scanners. Lindberg said her office also conducts routine tests of its equipment and scans its voter-registration system for vulnerabilities. Read More

Virginia: Fairfax County registrar fired days before midterm primary | WTOP

Less than two weeks before Virginia’s midterm primaries, the electoral board in the state’s most populous jurisdiction has fired its general registrar. The Fairfax County Electoral Board formally fired Cameron Sasnett Friday evening. He had been appointed in October 2015 and had 13 months remaining in his statutory four-year term. “Enough things came to our attention and kind of came to a head to the point where we felt we needed to let him go, and you can imagine, especially less than two weeks from an election, this is not a good time to do something like this. But we felt like we needed to do this,” Electoral Board Chairman Steve Hunt said. Read More

Virginia: Election officials assigned 26 voters to the wrong district. It might’ve cost Democrats a pivotal race. | The Washington Post

Last year’s race for state delegate in Newport News went down in Virginia history for its razor-thin margin. Republican David E. Yancey won on Election Day by 10 votes; Democrat Shelly Simonds beat him by a single vote in a recount. Then, a judicial panel declared a tie, so officials picked a name out of a bowl to determine a winner, and it was Yancey. Now, a review of voter registration records and district maps by The Washington Post has found more than two dozen voters — enough to swing the outcome of that race — cast ballots in the wrong district, because of errors by local elections officials. The misassigned voters lived in a predominantly African American precinct that heavily favored Democrats in the fall, raising the possibility that they would have delivered the district to Simonds had they voted in the proper race. The impact of a Simonds win would have been felt far beyond Newport News. Read More

Virginia: Russians targeted some Virginians with ads promoting ‘Southern pride’, others with messages denouncing police brutality | Richmond Times Dispatch

Russians attempting to sow racial and political division targeted some Virginians with Facebook and Instagram ads promoting Southern pride and rebel flags and others with messages highlighting young black men killed by police. Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released more than 3,500 of the ads Thursday, offering the fullest picture yet of how a Russian internet agency attempted to influence Americans before and after the 2016 presidential election. Most of the ads are issue-based, pushing arguments for and against immigration, LGBT issues and gun rights, among other issues. A large number of them attempt to stoke racial divisions by mentioning police brutality or disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement. Some promote President Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, who ran against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary. Few, if any, support Clinton. Others were more narrowly targeted. About 10 specifically targeted Virginians, and only a few of those were widely distributed. Read More

Virginia: Virginia works to improve voting process before midterm elections | WRIC

As Virginia prepares for the November midterm elections, the State Board of Elections approved a number of policy changes aimed at clarifying the voting process and making ballots easier to understand. On March 23, the board met for the first time since the Northam administration was sworn in. The panel unanimously voted to roll out new ballot standards for the Nov. 6 general election. The goal of the standards is clarification – including allowing candidates to use nicknames, more readable fonts and user-friendly instructions on the ballots. Each ballot will include instructions on how to vote. It will also state, “If you want to change a vote or if you have made a mistake, ask an election worker for another ballot. If you make marks on the ballot besides filling in the oval, your votes may not be counted.” Read More

Virginia: A national non-profit has created confusion among Virginia voters by sending mailers that imply they are not registered to vote | The Washington Post

A Democratic-leaning group working to get more unmarried women, people of color and millennials to the polls in November has sewn confusion in Virginia through mailers to voters that imply they’re not registered, election officials said Thursday. The Washington-based Voter Participation Center, a nonprofit that operates in 23 states, mailed 140,000 voter registration forms in Virginia with a message telling recipients they “do not appear to be currently registered to vote.” The same group sent the same kind of confusing mailers in Virginia in the weeks before the 2016 presidential election. Read More

Virginia: After irregular ballot helped decide a Virginia House election, state aims to make ballot more clear | The Virginian-Pilot

It was the ballot seen around the world. One voter’s flawed attempt to be counted in Newport News in December helped decide a pivotal Virginia House election and political control of the chamber. The bubbles for both candidates, David Yancey and Shelly Simonds, were filled in, but Simonds’ had a slash through it. A court had to decide the voter’s intent, which tied the race and setup the infamous name drawing out of the bowl. But had the voter simply asked for another ballot after his or her mistake, the whole thing could have been avoided. Read More

Virginia: State to adopt new ballot guidelines after confusing 2017 elections | WTOP

Months after control of Virginia’s House of Delegates was decided by a disputed, mismarked ballot, the State Board of Elections will set new ballot requirements that include clearer instructions for voters. Proposed changes to be adopted March 23 address “a need for improved clarity and additional examples” and “a need for improved usability of ballots for voters based on best practices and research,” a memo to the three-member board said. Virginia would go from more general rules about what printed ballots should look like to two specific approved forms. One of the proposed forms would include voting instructions in the leftmost column on the front of a three-column ballot. The other secondary choice would place voting instructions across the top of a two-column ballot just beneath the header that lists the date and type of election. Read More

Virginia: Redistricting Reformers Push for End to Gerrymandering | Public News Service

The borders of certain voting districts in Virginia could be changed more than state lawmakers may have expected. A group known as OneVirginia2021 is spearheading the charge for redistricting, convinced that 11 of the 100 districts in the House of Delegates are unconstitutionally drawn in favor of one political party. This process, known as gerrymandering, ignores the size and shape requirements of the districts, and the group says both major parties are to blame. Brian Cannon, executive director of OneVirginia2021, said the current lines are a way for politicians to create an advantage rather than playing fair. Read More