Governor Northam vetoed seven bills on Monday that had passed the House and Senate on party-line votes. Two of the bills that Northam vetoed would have prevented voter fraud and improved voter integrity in Virginia. As a result, Virginia citizens will be forced to put up with a risk of voter fraud in future elections, in spite of the Virginia legislature’s efforts to restore voter integrity.
“Governor Northam has vetoed a good government bill. His veto ignores common sense and recognized best practices that ensure a reliable and accurate voter registration rolls. When a Virginia county or township has 101 percent voter registration or more, election administration can be improved to remove dead, relocated, and ineligible registrants. The veto will inspire confusion, waste, and fraud during elections. Under SB 521, no local official that successfully completed their duties would be given additional work. The Commonwealth of Virginia has failed its voters.”
Public Interest Legal Foundation President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams
Fairfax County was found to be the top jurisdiction in Virginia for the largest number – 1104 – of non-citizen voter registrants, in a May 2017 investigation conducted by the Public Interest Legal Foundation and the Virginia Voters Alliance.
According to their report, “In 2011, members of the Fairfax County Electoral Board alerted the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, as well as the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department (which coordinates election crime prosecutions) in Washington, of possible voter fraud by non-citizens. The Fairfax County board had discovered 278 registered voters who had represented to the DMV that they were not U.S. citizens. Almost half of them—117—had not only registered to vote, they had in fact voted in state and federal elections. The Department of Justice never followed up, leaving nearly 300 gift-wrapped cases of voter fraud untouched.”
Over 1,100 non-citizens were discovered on the voter rolls in Fairfax County. These individuals cast over 1,000 ballots before they could be removed from the rolls.
Here are the two voter integrity bills – passed by the Legislature – that Northam vetoed, according to Capital News Service:
Senate Bill 521, which would require local voter registrars to investigate the list of registered voters whenever it exceeds the estimated number of people age 18 or older in a county or city. Northam said that the measure would unduly burden election officials and that Virginia already has a process to ensure accurate voter registration rolls.
HB 1167, which would require jury commissioners to collect information from people who are not qualified to serve on juries and present that information to voter registrars for list maintenance purposes. “There is no evidence or data that jury information is a reliable source for voter list maintenance,” Northam said. He said using this information “could endanger the registrations of eligible voters and prevent them from successfully casting a ballot.”
Image attribution PILF, wikimedia creative commons