RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Several Democratic members of Virginia’s congressional delegation are asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Virginia’s voter rolls.
This news comes after 8News reported earlier this month that an unknown number of voters were removed from the voting rolls after they were misclassified as having a new felony conviction.
The Virginia Department of Elections (ELECT) says they “receive a monthly list of individuals convicted of felonies from the Virginia State Police (VSP) in accordance with state law.” Local registrars then remove those people from the voting rolls, per state law.
However, a recent list mistakenly included voters with probation violations who should not have been disqualified, according to ELECT.
A letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, which was signed by all eight Democratic members of Virginia’s congressional delegation, urged Garland’s office to investigate what happened saying the mistake “creates an enormous barrier to the democratic process for these affected Virginians.”
The letter also states that they want the Attorney General’s Office to figure out what the state is doing to “ensure that those whose names were illegally removed from the voting rolls are informed so that they will know that they are in fact properly registered to vote in this election in a timely manner.”
In an email to 8News, a spokesperson for ELECT said the department has taken immediate action and “provided records to general registrars for immediate reinstatement” to voters who may have been affected.
The spokesperson added that “82% of localities have already addressed this issue and ELECT continues to work with VSP as well as general registrars to ensure all impacted voters are reinstated.”
Finally, ELECT said, “The letter to Attorney General Garland contains factual errors regarding notice to cancelled voters. The letter suggests that no voters were notified of their removal. This is false. Anytime a voter’s registration is cancelled for any reason, they are mailed a written notice from their local general registrar.”
A spokesperson for Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Office said, “When the governor’s office became aware of the inconsistencies regarding the misclassification of probation violations as felonies, as had been the process in previous administrations, he asked for VSP to correct the process and ordered a review. While analysis is still ongoing, we are aware of fewer than 300 voters who were impacted and those individuals are being reinstated. The governor is committed to ensuring those that are eligible, can vote.”