Election Integrity: Voter Rolls and Chain of Custody

Election Integrity Working Group | Fairfax GOP

The Fairfax GOP Election Integrity Working Group (EIWG) is organized into teams who recruit Republican election officers; organize the Poll Watcher operation; obtain chain-of-custody documentation; analyze election results and voter registration data; advocate for better laws; draft resolutions, and so much more. Since 2021 when the group first formed, improvements in transparency and better voter maintenance policies have been implemented by the Fairfax County Office of Elections under the current Registrar Eric Spicer, and by the Virginia Department of Elections under Elections Commissioner Susan Beals, appointed by Governor Youngkin. 

Under the current Virginia and federal laws, election operations remain complicated, and we continue to express our concerns about system security, errors in tabulation and reporting, failures to enforce procedures to keep non-citizens off the voter rolls, and a host of other ongoing risks. Current Virginia and Fairfax policies often deny the public access to information about voter registration database systems, election equipment, system security and other areas of legitimate public concern. 

While the EIWG has been successful in recruiting more Election Officers and Poll Watchers and helping to improve some of our election processes in Fairfax County, most of these complex issues have to be fixed with legislation at the federal and state level.

FAIRFAX GOP DATA ANALYSIS

The Data Analysis Team works with multiple data products to analyze the voter rolls.

From the Fairfax County Office of Elections:

  • Public Absentee Ballot Application List (Available to both political parties)
  • Undeliverable Mail (voter IDs)

From the Virginia Department of Elections:

  • Registered Voter List 
  • Voter History List
  • Daily Absentee List
  • Monthly Update Subscriptions 

Electoral data analysis was also provided in 2023 by the invaluable Electoral Process Education Corporation (EPEC), a Virginia non-profit conducting cutting-edge analysis of election data.

The State and County Offices of Elections update the voter rolls every month, but they are limited by federal law to specific time periods when they can send out a confirmation notice to voters to start the multi-year process of removing inactive voters from the voter rolls. In July 2023, the Fairfax GOP data team sent several lists of voter registrations to the Fairfax Office of Elections with a request that they be researched for voter list maintenance before the 2023 election:

Clones: The lists included these categories of possible multiple voter ID registrations for a single voter, known as “Clones.” Across all Clone categories, a possible 225 multiple registrations were used to vote using both voter ID’s:

  • 7 voters in Fairfax County with exact matches of name, address, birthdate, gender but each registered twice with two Voter ID’s
  • 68 voters in Fairfax County with exact matches of name, birthdate, gender but two different addresses (both in Fairfax County), registered with a different Voter ID at each address
  • 186 voters in Fairfax County with exact matches of name, birthdate, gender, one address in Fairfax County and a second address in a different Virginia county, registered with a different Voter ID at each address
  • 696 voters in Fairfax County with close matches of name (a middle initial instead of a full middle name, for example), same birthdate, same gender, and a second address in a Virginia county, registered with a different voter ID

Movers: The team compared the July 2023 Registered Voter List to the US Postal Service National Change of Address database and identified over 50,000 Fairfax County registered voters who had filed a change of address card  (excluding military addresses). Of these, 2,373 had not provided a forwarding address. The NCOA comparison also flagged almost 3,000 addresses as vacant. Lists of voter registrations with vacant or invalid addresses were provided to the Registrar office for further research.

Voter Age: In the July 2023 Registered Voter List, Fairfax County had 311 registered voters between the ages of 100 and 105, within actuarial probability for each gender. However, Fairfax also had 34 registered voters between the ages of 106 and 110, and three voters of 117, 118 and 120 years of age. The EIWG submitted this list to Fairfax County for further research. Voter registrations between the ages of 100 and 109 were used to cast ballots from 2019 through 2022.

The team will send additional lists in December to the Fairfax Office of Elections, in time for voter roll maintenance for the November 2024 election. Several new types of reports, including comparisons with property records, are in development.

Statewide Progress: Since 2012, Virginia had depended on the widely criticized Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) for voter roll maintenance. Fairfax GOP and other county committees passed resolutions calling on the Virginia Department of Elections (ELECT) to leave ERIC and create their own secure systems to remove non-citizens, non-residents, deceased, felons and others who should not be on the voter rolls. In April 2023, ELECT removed 19,000 deceased voters statewide from the voter rolls, and in May 2023 ELECT announced that Virginia was leaving the ERIC exchange. 

CHAIN OF CUSTODY DOCUMENTATION

In September 2022, ELECT issued a guidance permitting the public to copy election documents. This enabled the Office of Elections and citizens to work together to bring more documents to the public view. The Fairfax Office of Elections has improved transparency significantly and either provides copies of documents on request to the public, or allows the public to scan or photograph the documents, not including ballots or documents with protected voter information. In 2023, the EIWG is still in the process of obtaining documents and seeking volunteers to assist in their assessment. Some documents have been received, some have been photographed by the EIWG Documentation team, and some are still pending Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The EIWG plans to make these public documents available for review online (with exceptions as needed for voter privacy):

Obtained Documents:

  • Undeliverable Absentee Ballots returned to the Office of Elections (voter IDs manually entered from returned mailers)
  • DS200 configuration tapes from Logic and Accuracy testing (photographed)
  • All manuals and forms used for Election Officer training in Early Voting, Election Day, CAP and Hand Counts 
  • Logic and Accuracy certification forms for ExpressVote machines and DS200 Scanners, as well as a digital spreadsheet of all serial numbers and counts
  • List of Provisional Votes by various categories and acceptance/denial
  • CAP sample Spreadsheet used for hand counts and for write-in lists
  • CAP sample Cumulative Worksheets for hand counts
  • Multiple updated lists of Election Officer status and assignments

Documents requested by FOIA, and still outstanding:

  • Drop Box Chain of Custody forms
  • Daily DS200 Logs (Early Voting)
  • Daily Reconciliation Worksheets (Early Voting)
  • Early Voting Satellites – #3 Box Retrieval Logs (AKA Early Voting Satellites Voted Ballots Retrieval Log), all pages, all boxes, all satellites
  • Satellite Machine Certification Forms (completed including “After Polls Close” with red or blue seals attached) for all satellites
  • Statement of Results for Satellites, Precincts and CAP
  • Precinct Results Notice (all pages) for all precincts (these are the documents posted on the door, but a copy is retained in the materials)
  • Results worksheets from all precincts and all satellites (used in canvassing)
  • Cast Vote Records
  • CAP Ballot Batch Tracking Team Log (Master Log)
  • CAP DS850 Certification Log
  • Completed Canvass checklists for satellites, precincts and CAP, including comments
  • Chief’s notebooks (pending estimate for redaction fee)

Election integrity work is year-round, and volunteers are still needed to help with the data analysis and review of the 2023 election documents to identify any issues that can be solved before the 2024 election. Contact electionintegrity@fairfaxgop.org to help. Additionally, some FOIA requests cost money so donations to the Fairfax GOP in support of our EIWG work are always appreciated. Click HERE to donate.

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2024 U.S. Senate & Congressional Primary

GOP Primary Election Day is Tuesday, June 18

Election Calendar

  • Early voting opens 5/3
  • 5/28 – Deadline to register to vote (otherwise, same-day registration with provisional ballot)
  • 6/7 – Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot​
  • 6/8 - One of two Saturdays open for early voting, and additional early voting locations open.
  • Early Voting ends 6/15
  • 6/18 – Election Day

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