A Virginia nonprofit released a report this week that shows potential errors in how Virginia has sent absentee ballots to people looking to vote by mail.
In one case, out of a sample size of 587 addresses in 22 districts across the state, 217 out of 243 live contacts – nearly 90 percent – the absentee ballot information listed did not match the person living there, the report found.
Virginians for America First (VFAF), an organization that is trying to help Republicans regain the majority in the Virginia House of Delegates, received absentee ballot data from the Virginia Department of Elections for 22 House of Delegate Districts.
The data VFAF obtained had the “name and address of all voters in our target districts who had requested, cast an early ballot by mail, or in person,” the report said.
The data were from people that requested a ballot before September 17 and up to October 16, according to the report.
Of the 86,571 addresses that were reviewed, VFAF identified 5,541 “questionable” addresses to look into even further.
Using trained volunteers, VFAF contacted residents in 10 of the 22 House of Delegate districts. The district the teams went to were 2, 21, 32, 66, 68, 72, 76, 83, 85, and 94, according to the report.
In these 10 districts, the group explains in a statement, teams visited 587 addresses to see if the absentee ballot information was correct.
Of the 587 addresses they visited only 243 had “live contacts.” Of the 243 people they interacted with only 26 people had the correct address listed on the absentee ballot identified.
Thus, 89 percent of people who were visited did not match the person listed on the absentee ballot form.
If this percentage is applied to the 5,541 addresses sample size, this means that 4,948 people did not live at the address listed on the absentee ballot.
After releasing these results, VFAF says Virginia should take steps to fix this “immediately.”
“This certainly merits further investigation. It is also clear that the level of potential fraud is significant enough to affect the outcome of these elections,” VFAF’s report said.“ Virginia voting laws must be changed to ensure that Virginia voters will no longer be vulnerable to the malicious deeds of those who seek power to remove our freedoms and are willing to undermine the very foundations of our Republic.”
In an attempt to change state voting law, Virginia Democrats earlier this month asked Gov. Ralph Northam to waive the requirement for a witness signature on absentee ballots. Northam has not granted this request.
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Zachery Schmidt is the Digital Editor of The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to Zachery at [email protected]. Follow Zachery on Twitter @zacheryschmidt2.
Photo “Mail in Ballot” by Cindy Shebley. CC BY 2.0.