Eligible Voters among Thousands Purged from Voter Rolls by Virginia Election Officials
With only weeks left before the state elects a new governor, Virginia election officials have purged tens of thousands of names from voter rolls, sparking outcry and legal action by Democrats.
The Virginia State Board of Elections set out to erase about 58,000 people from the rolls, claiming they were ineligible because they had either committed a felony or moved out of state.
But it has been revealed that some of the people targeted by the elections board were still eligible to vote.
Further adding to the controversy is the fact that the board’s legal adviser is state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor who, according to recent polls, is trailing Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
Democrats filed an injunction to prevent anyone from being delisted. But the board still managed to purge more than 38,000 names.
There are 11,138 eligible voters who will remain active on the rolls, while another 7,300 will be designated “inactive,” meaning they must sign a form declaring their eligibility to vote, according to The Washington Post.
“This is a 14th Amendment issue. We have 131 local election officials here in Virginia, and the guidance they got from the state board was, quote, use your best judgment,” Brian Coy, a spokesman for the Virginia Democratic Party, told the Post. In their lawsuit, Democrats contend that such vague guidelines will produce a lack of uniformity that is unconstitutional. They cite a number of Supreme Court decisions, including Bush v. Gore (pdf), to support their position.
In Chesterfield County, Registrar Lawrence C. Haake III filed his own affidavit in the legal battle after he conducted a review and found almost 10% of the people flagged by the elections board were eligible voters.
Haake, a Republican, refused to purge the voters from the list.
To Learn More:
Virginia Election Officials Purging Almost 40,000 Voters (by Reid Wilson, Washington Post)
Va. Removes 40K from Voter Rolls over Democrats’ Objections (by Matthew Barakat, Associated Press)
Lawsuit against Florida “Non-Citizen List” Falls Victim to Supreme Court Voting Rights Ruling (by Danny Biederman and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Virginia Voter ID Rules: Concealed Gun Permit OK; Social Security Card Not OK (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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