Virginia Democrats, Richmond registrar negotiate agreement following lawsuit on absentee ballot issue

Virginia Democrats, Richmond registrar negotiate agreement following lawsuit on absentee ballot issue
The Virginia Democrats have come to an agreement with Richmond’s top election officials following a lawsuit filed Monday over absentee ballot issues.

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Democrats have come to an agreement with Richmond’s top election officials following a lawsuit filed Monday over absentee ballot issues.

According to Susan Swecker, the plaintiff and the chairwoman for the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA), the General Registrar violated the Virginia Freedom of Information Act by failing to provide requested records related to voters whose ballots contain errors.

Court documents say these records were requested so that the DPVA could notify and assist registered Virginia voters in Richmond with fixing any material errors and omissions in their ballots before the election so their ballots are counted.

Seventeen days after the request was made by the plaintiff, the complaint says the General Registrar denied the plaintiff had any responsive records and produced limited information, which she characterized as “inaccurate.”

“The Democratic Party of Virginia is dedicated to making sure that every vote counts in this critical election. Part of that effort is a rigorous voter protection program to resolve issues with absentee ballots, and registrars across the Commonwealth have been very helpful in sharing information with us to aid in that process. The Richmond Registrar is a lone exception and has been inexplicably stonewalling our efforts to resolve issues with voters' absentee ballots. This kind of obstructionism is wrong and requires us to take immediate legal action to resolve this issue and ensure everyone’s vote will count. Every vote matters, and doing everything we can to ensure they are counted is the right thing to do,” said Swecker.

The lawsuit says the plaintiff seeks a temporary injunction and ‘writ of mandamus’ to prevent irreparable harm to herself, the DPVA and the Richmond voters who tried to vote absentee for the upcoming election.

However, a hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon was pushed after the Richmond Registrar provided a partial list Tuesday evening.

On Thursday, the Virginia Democrats said they settled the lawsuit. As part of the agreement, the registrar will provide DPVA a complete list of voters whose ballots contain errors. The registrar will also send updates of the list to DPVA every other day until Election Day.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.