Attorney General Creates Election Integrity Unit

This week Jason Miyares created an Election Integrity Unit within the Attorney General’s Office specifically to investigate and prosecute those who have committed voting-related crimes.  Just before this announcement came their first indictment.

This is a much-needed step in the right direction, and I commend the Virginia Attorney General‘s Office and the Governor for taking firm and decisive action to support election integrity and prosecute those who have committed crimes against this country and state.

Those of you on the weekly Tuesday night Zoom Meeting for VFAF might recall how I said to be on the lookout for some good news coming out of the AG’s office. VFAF and The America Project attorney, Russell Newman, met with the Virginia Attorney General‘s office in early June and presented our report on election integrity to them hoping they would investigate. The Attorney General‘s office promised us a review of the report and while we started to get disheartened as months had gone by; they eventually contacted us to let us know about the creation of this Election Integrity Unit and that they would be issuing a press release to let the world know. 

I am happy to say that our efforts were successful and thank all of those whose hard work in not only compiling the data needed for the report but also pushing for the Virginia Attorney General’s office to hear our voices and take action on the evidence we presented. This newly created Election Integrity Unit is proof that they are listening and willing to investigate.

This has given me a reason to be optimistic that the Attorney General is taking election integrity seriously.  To those of you involved in election integrity, I would say that your hard work is paying off.  We need to continue our work and we need to continue to present evidence to the Attorney General’s office to help them hold the perpetrators of election crimes accountable. There is still a lot to be done and we are hopeful more crimes will be prosecuted.

Keep scrolling down to read more about what, and perhaps why, the former Prince William County Registrar was indicted.

A Great Opportunity to make a Difference

On September 23rd election season begins here in Virginia and now is the time to start working on getting out the vote (GOTV).  Virginians for America First, through the America Project, has a proven GOTV campaign and we need your help educating the voting public.

If you live in Congressional Districts 2, 4, 7, or 10, then you’re going to have a great opportunity to make a difference in Virginia and America through this campaign.  All we need is two or more people to do the canvassing in an area of your choice within these districts.

Here’s how it works.  Get with a friend, gather a group together, or ask your organization to participate and we will help determine a good place in your area to conduct the survey which will be most effective.

We will then train participants and assign users walkbooks that identify Low Propensity Voters.  You will be provided with a simple script as part of the walkbook.  Since this is a survey all you need to do is ask a few basic questions, enter the answers into the walkbook, then move on to the next identified house and voter.  It’s really that simple.

We will also provide participants with palm cards to leave behind if no one answers giving directions on how to register to vote.

The Low Propensity Voter Survey is composed of a list of voters who lean conservative, but who don’t vote on a regular basis.  The survey will identify 3 issues the voter thinks important and then The America Project will design digital ads that will be sent to those voters to encourage them to come out and vote based on the issues you helped us identify.

If you would like to participate or have questions, please email Bill Hawkins at [email protected].  In the email let Bill know how many people you can gather and the county or city in which you would like to conduct the survey.

Mysterious Election Corruption in Prince William County

By Elizabeth Block:

Attorney General Jason Miyares announced Wednesday that a grand jury has indicted former Prince William County Registrar Michele White on two felonies and one misdemeanor for incidents occurring around the time of the 2020 election. Specifically, she is charged with:

· Between August 1st and December 31st, 2020: Corrupt conduct as an election official (Va.

Code sec. 24.2-1001.B).

· Between November 3rd and November 10th, 2020: False statement by an election official (Va.

Code sec. 24.2-1016).

· Between August 1st and December 31st, 2020: Willful neglect of duty as an election official

(Va. Code sec. 24.2-1001.A).

Unfortunately, the Attorney General’s announcement provided few other details, so it is uncertain if the alleged corruption is financial or electoral in nature; but among election integrity groups, Prince William is perceived as one of the most likely counties to suffer from significant election fraud.

I chair the Prince William County Election Integrity Working Group and also work with state-wide integrity groups like Virginians for America First and Virginia Fair Elections. Although I don’t know her personally, Michele White does have a reputation in the election integrity community. She served as the county’s Registrar from 2015 to 2021, and stories are told by people who did know her of an office roiled by internal conflicts and very loose management stretching several years before the 2020 election. Longtime employees believe they were forced out of their jobs for going to the Electoral Board over matters Ms. White could not or would not manage.

In March of 2021, Ms. White left her job as Registrar after a meeting with the county Electoral Board. We don’t know if she left voluntarily or was pushed, or whether her departure was related to the current charges against her. At the time, she was embroiled in a dispute with a local election integrity activist over her non-response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which a local judge had agreed to mediate.

A clue suggestive of financial corruption is provided by a routine audit that was conducted of the Prince William Elections Department around this time. The audit report, dated July 20, 2021, shows a high risk of noncompliance in timekeeping and contracts during Ms. White’s tenure. We do know that Ms. White’s received $631,430.50 in what is affectionately called “Zuckerbucks” from the Center for Technology and Civic Life for the 2020 election. The funding was used for equipment, drive-through voting, temporary workers, and a call center. This ability to receive third-party funding has since been outlawed by Virginia’s General Assembly, after allegations it was used to introduce insecure election processes and drive turnout in heavily Democratic districts.

Another clue suggests election corruption. In August 2021, a county resident and data analyst Jon Lareau applied methodology developed by the National Academy of Sciences to detect election fraud in developing countries to Virginia’s 2020 election and saw data that did not add up (report). Jon and I met with our Electoral Board member to discuss the data and he advised us to inspect the Statements of Results (tally tapes) kept at the General Registrar’s office. These tally tapes come right from the scanners on election night and are what the county uses to manually enter election results into the Commonwealth’s election system, called VERIS (Virginia Election Registration Information System).

Beginning in August 2021, I tried for many months to get these tally tapes, which under Virginia law should be available to the public for inspection but was denied by the acting Registrar (Ms. White’s replacement), and the state Department of Elections. When a new Registrar for Prince William County was appointed, I arranged with him to inspect the tally tapes. A few weeks later he called me to tell me he had looked at the tally tapes himself while preparing for our inspection and saw issues important enough to report to the State Board of Elections. The Registrar’s report prompted the State Board of Elections to call for an investigation of Prince William County by the Attorney General. It seems likely that this investigation led directly to the indictment of Ms. White, although we will not know the details until this all comes out in court. Whether for financial or electoral, or a combination of both, this acknowledgment and prosecution of election corruption is a historic event in Virginia.

We are still promised public inspection of these 2020 tally tapes once they return from the Attorney General’s office.

Election Integrity Tools for the November Election

Virginians for America First and The America Project have developed a suite of online tools to help poll workers, poll watchers, and ordinary citizens promote election integrity. The tools are based on those used by international election monitoring organizations and include guidance and simple questionnaires that can be filled in to provide the data needed to evaluate the election process and make recommendations for reform. The tools are:

Citizen Election Observer Guide – Allows ordinary citizens to assess and report on the election process as they vote. Also includes a pre-election assessment, an incident report form, and an election reform survey.

Poll Watcher’s Guide – Included detailed guidance on how to observe the process, plus an online checklist, and incident report form. A comprehensive report will be prepared and published based on the data collected. County political party chairs can contact VFAF if they would like to have the county-level data.

Election Integrity Manual and Poll Worker’s Guide – The Election Integrity Manual is a compendium of all of the election integrity tools developed by VFAF, including a section on how to become a poll worker, how to promote election integrity as a poll worker, and a checklist and incident report form for poll workers. The manual also includes sections on election reform advocacy, pre-election observation, and voter registration audits.

These tools were developed to promote election integrity for all Americans, and are free to use for individuals and organizations, although we appreciate it if organizations let us know they are using them. For those organizations, we can provide editable copies so they can add their own logos and any additional content.

VFAF Conference Call Tuesdays at 7:00 PM

Each week Virginians for America First conducts a zoom meeting for those wanting to keep up with our efforts in Virginia and find out a little scuttlebutt.  The meeting is held Tuesday nights and begins at 7:00 PM.  You are invited to attend to find out the latest with VFAF and how you can make a difference in Virginia. An invitation is sent out each week with the link to everyone who gets this newsletter. Feel free to forward that link to anyone else you think might be interested.

Topic: Weekly VFAF Meeting
Time: Sep 13, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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