Earlier this month, a lawsuit was filed against the Department of Elections asking a court to issue a common-sense ruling – a state agency cannot change rules set out in a law passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor. Yesterday, the Court ruled to prevent the Virginia Department of Elections from accepting absentee ballots received up to three days after Election Day without legible postmarks.
“There was a big win for election integrity and the rule of law in Virginia yesterday,” said Rich Anderson, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. “In a lawsuit brought by two of our grassroots Republicans, the Frederick County Circuit Court told the Attorney General and the State Board of Elections what we all know – the law means what it says.”
The law requires that any ballots received after election day be postmarked on or before election day – a common sense rule that simply recognizes that all ballots must be voted by election day. “First, they tried to say, despite the law, that postmarks didn’t matter at all,” said Anderson. “After Tom Reed and Bob Hess sued, they realized they couldn’t completely ignore the law, so they tried a regulation that said postmarks matter unless they’re missing, then count the ballot anyway.”
“Mark Herring once again failed to defend Virginia law, giving his election official clients bad advice and then doubling down by defending a flawed regulation clearly in conflict with statute,” said Anderson.
“The Court has said ‘postmark’ means ‘postmark’ and our dedicated local election officials now have clear guidance they can rely upon, not the mess that the Department of Elections tried to foist on them.”