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President-Elect Trump alleged Sunday that there was serious voter fraud in Virginia, according to a tweet he posted. The problem with Trump’s allegation: it’s false.
“The claims of voter fraud in Virginia during the November 8 election are unfounded,” Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortes announced on Twitter and Facebook Monday. “Virginia’s election was well administered by our 133 professional local registrars, with help from hundreds of election officials and volunteers who worked to guarantee a good experience for eligible Virginia voters. The election was fair and all votes cast by eligible voters were accurately counted.”
For Dianna Moorman, general registrar for James City County, Trump’s allegation of voter fraud was an assault on the integrity of the non-partisan institution of democratic elections.
“I would like him to come see what our office does day in and day out,” Moorman said. “I think it would do the president-elect good to step over the border from D.C. to Fairfax County and see what we truly do here in Virginia.”
James City County had 56,521 registered voters on Oct. 31, all of whom were listed in a master state database. According to Moorman, in order to prevent fraud, there are mechanisms within that database that cross-reference voters’ information with Department of Motor Vehicle data and citizenship data, along with the United States Postal Service for place of residence data, as well as cross-referencing with over 20 other state databases.
This election cycle, Moorman says there was only one case of potential voter fraud in James City County. A citizen attempted to register to vote and misconstrued his place of residence. The case was referred to the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Nate Green.
“The owner of the place of residence voiced concerns and we turned it over to the Commonwealth Attorney,” Moorman said.
The one case of passing fraudulent voter information in James City County can’t be classified as voter fraud, because the voter didn’t vote. The single case of a citizen attempting to pass off fraudulent information in this election would have represented roughly 0.001923 percent of all votes cast — if the resident had actually voted.
If a registered voter has apparent discrepancies in his or her account, Department of Elections officials will attempt to verify his or her information, Moorman said.
Discrepancies can occur for several reasons, according to an “Officers of Elections Quick Reference to Problems ‘What If…’” handbook provided to election officers at polling locations throughout the state. Discrepancies can occur if the voter fails to respond to a confirmation notice relating to a change of address, or if there is a report of the voter changing his or her address.
Voters with discrepancies are asked to fill out an Affirmation of Eligibility form, which makes the voter swear under penalty of perjury that the information they are providing is truthful.
Moorman added that, as an extra defense against voter fraud, voting machines used to count the votes in James City County have a chain of custody that prevents fraud and the machines are never connected to outside communication services, which could possibly expose them to hackers.
“Honestly, my constituents are so proud that we run honest elections,” Moorman said. “As far as voter fraud goes, we do everything we can do to combat it.”
This post has been updated to include a statement from Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortes and the number of registered voters in James City County as of Oct. 31.