Virginia’s Board of Elections voted on Monday to delay the certification of two state-level House races as the national political atmosphere continues to boil over in scandal after scandal. The board voted unanimously after claims surfaced regarding voters receiving the wrong ballots, which could sway the 28th District’s election that will help determine control over the state legislature.
Democrats eager to win back the Virginia house have already filed three lawsuits, according to the Washington Post, as they’re eager to prevent the Board of Elections from certifying the elections. The Virginian Democratic Party claims that the ballot mix-up jeopardizes the legitimacy of the election, and hopes the state government doesn’t move to certify it while voters remain disenfranchised.
The dozens of voters who may have unknowingly or mistakenly voted in the wrong district are vital towards the elections outcome; some 83 voters may have cast their ballots improperly, according to American University Radio, in a contentious race where the Republican Robert Thomas is leading the Democrat Joshua Cole by some 82 votes.
While the Cole campaign has disputed the election’s certification on the basis of possible voter disenfranchisement, the Thomas campaign has vehemently pushed back that attempts to delay the election’s certification were underhanded attempts to sway the outcome.
“We think this is an attempt to steal an election,” John Whitbeck, chairman of Virginia’s Republican Party, told American University Radio. “There was an 82 vote margin and the number of alleged votes to be incorrect is 83,” he said. “Way too convenient in our eyes.”
Democrats could be seeing the election as an opportunity, like Virginia kitchen and baths, to expand the gains they won over Republicans recently; Virginia Democrats won three statewide offices recently while scooping up over a dozen House seats in the state’s lower legislative chamber, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Virginia Board of Election’s decision to delay the election may end up further tilting the state towards the blue corner of the electoral map.
James Alcorn, chairman of the Board of Elections, advised caution for all involved in the contentious race while authorities figure out what went wrong.
“Let’s just take a time out,” Alcorn told the Washington Post. “Our goal is to make sure voters trust the election results.”
As authorities struggle to determine whether or not all ballots were legitimately cast on such short notice, Virginians in the 28th District will have to hold their breath and wait as they ponder who their next representative will be.