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 elections commissioner, who Youngkin is replacing, announces departure | Graham Moomaw/Virginia Mercury
Virginia elections Commissioner Chris Piper is leaving his post March 11 after Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration formally told him he won’t be reappointed to the job, according to an internal email Piper sent his agency Friday. Piper, an appointee of former Gov. Ralph Northam, said in the email he had agreed to stay on a few more weeks to “ensure a smooth transition.” “I am disappointed because I would like nothing more than to spend the next four years in this chair working hand in hand with each of you as we labor to restore the nation’s faith in our election process,” Piper said in an email to employees of the state Department of Elections. “However, I am comforted by the fact that I will be leaving this place in your hands.” Youngkin has not yet named a replacement for Piper. But Piper’s email notes Rachel Lawless, currently a confidential policy adviser in the department, “has been reappointed to her role and will continue to serve.” “My promise to each of you is that I will do everything in my power to make sure you are set up for nothing but success,” Piper said. “My loyalty has always been to you, the State Board, the general registrars, Electoral Board members, thousands of election officers, voters, and future voters of the commonwealth.”