Whether you believe there was ballot fraud in the November 2020 election or that there wasn’t, Virginia Republicans have and continue to mount a massive effort to make sure that the November 2021 election is fair and honest. This is a goal that every Virginian should support.
Almost from the moment Glenn Youngkin won the Republican nomination for Governor in May 2021, his team has taken a dual track approach to their campaign. One track has been standard campaign operations for getting voters to the polls to vote for Youngkin. The other track has been to make sure that only legal, registered voters cast ballots in this election. Their philosophy has been that every Virginian is entitled to one full vote – not one watered down by votes from those who should not be voting, such as non-citizens and dead people.
The vast majority of election officials – the people who get up at zero-dark-thirty on election day and put in 16-to-18-hour days to staff our polling places – should most appreciate the efforts of the Youngkin team to verify the honesty and integrity of their work. With thousands of “authorized party representatives” all over the Commonwealth watching the proceedings, as the law allows, the honest, hardworking, and dedicated election officials will have witnesses to the fact that they have done their jobs well and are worthy of the appreciation of their fellow citizens.
At the same time, other election officials who may not be following the state’s election laws will hopefully be identified and their practices corrected. These incidents may be something as simple as misunderstanding a fine point in the law. When the error is pointed out, most election officials – as has happened in the past – will immediately comply with the law. This will result in better election officials and better elections.
Then there are a few election officials who may end up in court. The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) recently filed a lawsuit against one Virginia registrar for failure to comply with the clear directives of Virginia election law. Any blatant disregard for election law is a blot on election integrity in Virginia. That type of behavior is the kind of thing that every Virginian should condemn.
Authorized party representatives are not paid staffers. They are volunteers who believe in America and the American electoral process. They are willing to give up hours of their time during early voting, on election day itself, and during the tally processes that occur after election day to ensure that the electoral process is run fairly and legally. They take hours away from their jobs, their families, and their normal everyday lives to help protect and secure the integrity of the balloting process.
The Youngkin campaign and the RPV have provided a massive amount of training for several thousand authorized representatives who will be observing election operations around the state. They also have a fully staffed information hotline that representatives can call if there are questions that the chief election officer at the polling location they are observing is unable or unwilling to answer or if the answer does not sound correct. Democrats generally take a similar approach.
The Republicans’ corps of authorized representatives have been trained to act in a professional, competent manner. Their goal is to allow everyone who can legally vote to vote if they want to and to keep bogus ballots from being cast and counted. That should be the goal of every Virginian, of every American. Unfortunately, it is not. If it were, there would be no need to recruit, train, and deploy such a large cadre of volunteers to help make it so.
Again, these efforts are not to prevent anyone with a legal right to vote from voting. In fact, the other track of the Youngkin campaign, as well as those of Lieutenant Governor candidate Winsome Sears and Attorney General candidate Jason Miyares, is to get more people out to vote. All they ask is that they are legal voters.
The leadership of Virginia should be decided by the voters of Virginia, not by unscrupulous political operatives and election officials who skew the vote with faulty procedures or actual deceit. That is why so many thousands of Virginians – of both parties – have volunteered their time to witness the honest efforts of the vast majority of election officials, but also to catch any improper actions of a few. We should all applaud our election officials for making elections possible and also applaud the authorized representatives who are working to help ensure the accuracy and honesty of the election process.