A cornerstone of our American democracy is a free, fair and secure election process. Regardless of your party affiliation, you need to be assured the process encourages eligible voters to vote and that their choices are accurately recorded and counted. Thousands of Virginians passionately defend this cornerstone. More than 133 certified registrars who follow 470 pages of Virginia election law operate year-round to ensure it. And when election season comes around, another 15,000 Virginians join the process as poll watchers, precinct captains and other roles. These are your friends and neighbors — people you see in the grocery store, or at church or while walking in your neighborhood. They are trained and retrained to be on the front lines of the election to ensure a free and fair process with an accurate outcome decided by the majority of voters. They show up and work hard to protect your vote and the collective wishes of your community. These guardians are the front line of a process that the Virginia Department of Elections has in place to ensure your elections are not susceptible to subterfuge. These are your defenders of democracy. In recent years, much misinformation and disinformation has been disseminated about our election system. Some (but not all, of course) of these efforts have been intentional and designed to whittle away at public trust. But facts still stand soundly behind your ability to trust that our elections are an accurate reflection of the voice of the people. While cybersecurity always is a concern, it’s important to know that Virginia law prohibits voting machines from being connected to the internet — and there always is a paper record of your vote.
Virginia’s Buckingham County feels the toll of election denialism | Jane C. Timm/NBC
Few places have felt the effects of election denialism more than Buckingham County, Virginia. In January, Republicans gained control of the local electoral board and advanced baseless voter fraud claims targeting the work of the then-registrar, Lindsey Taylor, who had been running elections in the county since 2019 and considered herself nonpartisan. Taylor resigned in March as it became clear they wanted her gone. Two other staffers quit with her, following a deputy registrar who quit in February for the same reasons. The exodus of staff temporarily left the county without a functioning elections office. On April 12, Luis Gutierrez took over as the new registrar, quickly establishing himself in the community as a combative figure. That was no surprise to the office’s former occupants. Gutierrez had helped advance the baseless fraud claims that drove Taylor and her staff from their jobs. Read Article