Time to Talk about the Growing Rift Between Virginia Registrars and Terry McAuliffe
So the registrar that runs Virginia’s largest locality — 1/8th of the Commonwealth — expresses outrage that the Virginia Department of Elections (the former State Board of Elections) have dragged their feet in processing absentee registrations going back to August.
(a) Calmly and professionally explain the situation?
(b) Politely ignore the comment?
(c) Arbitrarily ban them from the listserv for a period of… oh I dunno, whatever it is between now and the election.
If you guessed (c), we would like to thank Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortes for taking this poll… per the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Cortés said past listserv suspensions have lasted two to three weeks, but Sasnett’s may be shortened with a presidential election about two weeks away. Policing of the listserv, Cortés said, is purely about maintaining professionalism, not about tamping down criticism.
Anyone else wanna call nonsense on that? How’s about a few dozen state registrars:
In subsequent emails, other registrars came to Sasnett’s defense.
Stafford County Registrar Greg S. Middleroser urged the head of the state registrar association to “throw the BS Flag.”
“FIX this NOW, please… and demand an apology – this is so sophomoric – I can’t stand it,” Riddlemoser wrote.
Radford County Registrar Tracy D. Howard, president of the Voter Registrars Association of Virginia, said she had already voiced frustration with “being the de facto list referee.”
“I have requested that the powers that be try to understand the stress and frustration that we are ALL working with, and that cutting off a GR’s ability to communicate effectively is not conducive to a successful election,” Howard wrote.
Albemarle County Registrar Jake Washburne noted that, over the concerns of some registrars the elections department supporting allowing cameras and “ballot selfies” in polling places as a matter of free speech.
“It is difficult to reconcile concern over gagging voters’ free speech rights when it comes to ‘selfies,’ with restraining a registrar’s means of communication with the elections community regarding concerns over Veris’s performance over the past few weeks.” Washburne wrote.
Here’s the problem: The Virginia elections database is in an utter shambles, and it is going to have an impact on Election Day. So bad is this problem… that provisional ballots are being worked out on a scale and number that is perhaps unprecedented in the modern era.
Now one could say that this is just pure sloppiness on the part of a handful in Richmond. One could even say that perhaps such sloppiness is merely an instance of putting the wrong people in the wrong place, or worse, getting rid of the right people at the wrong time. One might also venture to say — and this is pure speculation, ladies and gentlemen, that in the swing state of Virginia such a problem would be slightly advantageous to… oh, I dunno… those who want to see a bevy of previously undocumented voters come to the polls for the first time in a long time.
Wonder which party that works out for?
Convenient problem to have, wouldn’t you say? In an environment where an unprecedented absentee voter program has produced unprecedented results for Democrats in Northern Virginia and elsewhere… one might say that, should these wires touch, Governor McAuliffe would have a lot to answer for — would he not?
…all speculation, unless one has say, a massive pile of provisional ballots anticipating the goof.
UPDATE: The RTD’s Graham Moomaw seems to have gotten results:
— Graham Moomaw (@gmoomaw) October 25, 2016
…because that’s going to make this story go away?
UPDATE x2: Word is making its way to Bearing Drift that Fairfax registrar Cameron Sasnett spoke rather poorly of the Department of Elections during a six-hour marathon session of Senate P&E Committee.
Tit for tat, anyone? Worth considering…