Virginia registrars have 107K voter records to update before election because of IT glitch
The Youngkin administration is blaming unspecified technical issues for a backlog of more than 107,000 voter record changes that were dumped on local registrars this week.
“No voter registration data was lost, but the issue will cause an increase in processing voter registration applications at the local level,” Virginia Elections Commissioner Susan Beals told the Washington Post in a written statement, describing the technical issues as “intermittent network issues within the Department of Elections.”
The backlog affects new voter registration applications, address updates and other changes submitted through the Virginia DMV.
Early voting for the 2022 congressional midterms began on Sept. 23, seven weeks before the Nov. 8 election day.
All 11 U.S. House seats in Virginia are on the ballot in the 2022 midterms. Democrats currently hold eight of those seats, with two – Elaine Luria in the Second and Abigail Spanberger in the Seventh – facing stiff challenges from Republicans in what are basically 50/districts.
Democrats hold a very narrow 220-212 edge in representation in the House, and obviously every seat flipped to Republicans gets the GOP closer to regaining the majority in the lower congressional chamber.
So, the timing of these unspecified technical issues involving voter information is at the least coincidentally advantageous to Republicans.
The Virginia Public Access Project has tracked the backlog back to the spring, publishing a chart showing new voter registrations dropping off sharply in June, in the aftermath of an announcement from the Youngkin administration that it was going to shut down the elections registration and data system to allow for a planned update.
VPAP estimates that roughly 40,000 of the voter records affected were new voter registrations, which were on the upswing nationally after the Supreme Court announced in June its decision in the Dobbs case overturning abortion rights protected under Roe v. Wade.
But, yes, it’s just a coincidence that this happened the way it did.