Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has removed 3,400 eligible voters from the state’s voter rolls
Photo by Janine Robinson on Unsplash
In the days leading up to Virginia’s crucial General Assembly election, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration admitted it had mistakenly removed nearly 3,400 qualified voters from the state’s database, a significant increase from the original estimate of 270. This revelation came just weeks before the November 7 election, which will have significant implications for the state’s political future.
According to the governor’s office, these 3,400 voters were disqualified due to a technical error in which the state’s computer software incorrectly counted probation violations as new crimes, disqualifying them from voting. However, local registrars have reportedly reinstated all but about 100 of those voters who had been convicted of felonies, had their voting rights restored and then violated their probation.
The “purge” raised further questions about Youngkin’s intentions and commitment to election integrity among Democrats, who accused the administration of mishandling the situation and failing to protect the right to vote. Democratic Sen. Scott Surovell tweeted, “This is what happens when you put a governor who refuses to vote in charge of the vote.”
Governor Youngkin has asked the state’s inspector general to investigate voter removals and the possibility that people with restored rights remain on the rolls after subsequent felony convictions. Virginia has a policy of disenfranchising people with felony convictions unless the governor restores their civil rights. The ACLU of Virginia is concerned that this incident could deter eligible voters from voting. There is also no way to ensure the administration is transparent about the number of voters removed.
The stakes in Virginia’s elections are incredibly high as Republicans seek to retake majorities in the House and Senate to advance Governor Youngkin’s conservative agenda. This could mean a rollback of abortion rights and the Equal Rights Amendment. Virginians must ensure their voice is heard in this election.
Go to https://www.elections.virginia.gov/ for information about your voter registration status and polling locations.