Elections Board Declines to Refer VPC Issue to AG
The Virginia State Board of Elections will investigate “potentially fraudulent” petitions.
The State Board of Elections (SBE) met in Richmond Aug. 6 to discuss Voter Participation Center (VPC) mailings sent in June after receiving a request from a “presidential campaign” to refer the matter to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for investigation. However, an concern raised about Constitution Party attempts to gain ballot access will go to the attorney general.
A release from Mitt Romney’s campaign about the VPC issue suggests that campaign made the request.
No state board motioned to refer the matter for investigation after a VPC representative spoke to the board about recent changes to refine outreach work and correct data for mailing lists, according to a press release from the state board. VPC agreed to implement 13 protocols in an attempt improve the accuracy of mailings and will sent additional information to the board.
Although, the board acknowledged the VPC should not have sent forms with information already filled in and information could have confused voters, members declined to ask local registrars to remove voters added with pre-populated forms.
Don Palmer, the elections board secretary, said he’s confident local election officials can identify ineligible voters and that the state agency would continue to work with registrars statewide to review all applications and registrations and ensure the eligibility of voters and the “purity” of the state’s voter registration list, according to the release. The eligibility verification process will continue up and until Election Day, according to the release.
Romney’s campaign appeared disappointed but satisfied overall by the board’s decision.
“The Voter Participation Center has already admitted its misconduct, and we are glad that the State Board of Elections quickly convened a meeting on the issue,” said campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg in a press release. “Even in the absence of a formal investigation, we are heartened that the group is being forced to stop mailing misleading, pre-populated voter registration forms in Virginia.”
In other action during the state board’s Aug. 6 meeting, members voted unanimously to request that the attorney general investigate suspected petition fraud on forms submitted by the Constitution Party to gain ballot access for its presidential candidate.