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Virginia Democrats want DOE investigation of Youngkin administration, voter rolls

Rebecca Barnabi
glenn youngkin
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Virginia’s Democratic Congressional delegation sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on October 6 calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate reports regarding the Youngkin Administration removing eligible voters from the rolls.

The delegation wants an investigation into whether any violations of the Voting Rights Act or other federal laws were committed. The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, and U.S. Reps. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Gerry Connolly, Donald Beyer, Abigail Spanberger, Jennifer Wexton and Jennifer McClellan.

The report comes weeks before Election Day and amid early voting in the Commonwealth.

“On October 3, 2023, the Virginia Department of Elections acknowledged that it removed more than 10,000 individuals who have had their rights restored from voter rolls over the past nine months without notice,” the letter states. “This includes an unknown number of individuals with technical probation violations, not new felony convictions, who have been purged from voter rolls without notice after having their rights fully restored. This widespread error creates an enormous barrier to the democratic process for these affected Virginians while early voting has already begun for this November’s election.”

The delegation calls the new reports “alarming,” especially with a “consequential election already underway in Virginia” and after previous issues with voter registration systems.

“We request immediate action by the Department of Justice to investigate how these recent removals happened and what is being done to ensure that those whose names were illegally removed from the voting rolls are informed so that they will know that they are in fact properly registered to vote in this election in a timely manner, insofar as early voting has already begun. These are necessary actions to ensure every citizen’s right to the ballot box is protected as required by the Voting Rights Act.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.