Virginia Election Transparency Project

Free and Fair Elections
are crucial for a
Republic to survive


ObserversJohanna Carrington, Cathy Meche, Lisa Smith
Date of interview07/21/2021
Time and date of initial call and email:05/31/2021
Time and date of response:05/31/2021
Did the registrar refuse to meet you:No
If yes, please provide the reason given for not meeting:
Survey Answers
1. What is your biggest concern about the upcoming election?The Dept. of Elections is no longer acting in a supportive way. Instead they send 2-3 advisroies a day changing procedures. Sometime advisories conflict with one another. They are not updated on how to handle the new laws that were effective July 1.
2. Any other major concerns?The new laws, no guidance. There are too many laws that are open to interpretation. In 2019-2020 they added 61 new laws, and 20-21 added 69 new laws.
3. Do you feel like you have the resources, equipment, personnel, and training needed to run an effective election in November?Yes
3a. Any additional information?We are ready here. However, there is no on boarding trainging guide. We need a manual to know what to do. Everything has gotten too complex. Yo need hands on to know what to do. Changes are happening too quick. The electoral board seems frustrated. We have difficulty with the last minute costs thrown at us.
4. If no, what is missing?
5. The county election board is supposed to consist of 2 Democrats and a Republican under a Democrat governor, but in some areas, boards have had trouble finding willing Republicans and have appointed an Independent instead, or another Democrat. What is the situation in this county?Two Democrats and a Republican
6. What about precinct staff? Are you able to have equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans?Yes
6a. Provide DetailsWe make it work. We struggle with finding Republicans.
7. Is the county Board of Elections engaged in your work year-round, or mostly near elections?Mostly near elections
7a. Any additional information?There are requirements year round, but most work is done around elections.
8. When was the last audit of the voter file in your county?01/01/1900
8a. No. of days since last audit:
8b. Any additional information?Technically we just did one. Ill defined word audit. She just got NVRA and NCDA lists
9a. Does the Health Department send a list of deceased people to your office every month so they can be removed from the voter roll?No
9b. If no, how often do they send a list?They get notification from the Bureau of Vital Statistics "ERIC" notification. It's about a 3 month turn around. The registrar checks local obituarues and funeral homes
10. When was the last time the Clerk of Courts submitted a list of individuals who declined to serve on jury duty on the basis of being a non-citizen?01/01/1900
10a. Any additional information?NEVER! Can't ask citizenry - if its check I can't
11. When was the last time you had access to the National Change of Address List or any other change of address list?01/01/1900
Other list(s):Constant
12a. Are you confident that the voter file is accurate and up to date?No
12b. If no, what is/are your main concern(s) about the list?Not for lack of trying. We cannot be 100% confident. Move aways. P.O. boxes used as address. Not able to ask for email or phone number - Can't contact
13. How many households in your locality have more than 7 individuals registered at the same address? Number:No way of knowing. Maybe a hand full in Precinct 1.
14. During registration, how do you verify that voters are citizens?Good Luck. People come here (and have for years) to get voter ID to prove who they are at the DMW. I have no right to question.
15. There are three types of voting machines used in Virginia. Can you tell me which machines you use?Unison, vendor ESO out of PA
16. Who calibrates the voting machines, and can you please explain the process?L & A Logistics and Accuracy testing (from PA). A rep from the company, the Registrar and Deputy Registrar. A local company (NN Computer) is going to be trained to test Test machines, list ballots w/scenarios and seal the ballots afterwards
17. Do you invite party representatives to witness the calibration?Yes
18a. Are voting machines ever connected to the internet?No
18b. If they are not connected to the internet, how and when are they updated?Purchased in 2017, they have not been updated. Scheduled to do before election.
19. As an election professional, do you think the changes made in the election process in Virginia in response to COVID have weakened election integrity, strengthened election integrity, or made no change in election integrity?Don't know
19a. Any additional information?Changes have made work load harder and confused voters. The actual integrity stayed the same, We have had our own checks and balances. But I can see how it can be seen both ways.
20a. Did you receive any funding or in-kind contributions for training, staff, voter education or equipment, or any other purpose from outside the state of Virginia? Yes
20b. If yes, what was the funding or contribution used for?Received a grant from CTCL. Purchased Poll pads. Money received from CARES Act.
21. Effective Jul 1, 2021, Senate Bill 1097, eliminated requirements for voters to have a witness signature on absentee ballots for any election during a declared state of emergency. The Governor has now rescinded the state of emergency. How are you training your staff to ensure that there is a signature match for the upcoming elections?Standard operating procedure - Allow ballots to "CURE" Open ballots sent to CAB (Central Absentee Office)
22. There is a lot of concern in Virginia and across the country about the security and integrity of the ballot drop boxes. What are the chain of custody procedures for ballot drop boxes?Tow officers of elections are supposed to check it daily. The registrar and asst have monitors in their office and watch daily.
23. Was there any time during the last election cycle when your drop boxes did not have video monitoring? No
23a. Any additional information?
24. Who is responsible for reviewing the video?Never had a formal review.
24b. Were party observers present during the review?Yes
25. Would you provide training and support, or designate us to provide training and support, for an election day page program as described in 24.2-604.3?i (see text in endnote)Yes
25a. Any additional information?Just one more thing to deal with. Concerned with time and resources.
26. Would you authorize non-partisan election observers with the same rights as party representatives; as described in 24.2-604.5 A?i (see text in endnote) Yes
26a. Any additional information?Not always trained properly and can cause more stress to precinct officers
27. Would you authorize international non-partisan observers from recognized election monitoring organizations?No
27a. Any additional information?
28. Have your local party chairs been notified that they are entitled to send observers to your office each day it is open and receiving in-person absentee ballots?Yes
28a. Any additional information?The election board secretary is supposed to interact with them
29a. Do you have a publication that you provide to your election officials regarding rights and responsibilities of observers?Yes
29b. If no, would you be willing to distribute such a publication that we would prepare based on Virginia law?No answer/refused
30. Question – Please characterize your interaction with the Registrar asHelpful Polite

i § 24.2-604.3. Election day page program; high school students. A. The local electoral board, or its general registrar, may conduct a special election day page program for high school students in one or more polling places designated by the electoral board or the general registrar, which may include a central absentee voter precinct. Students shall be selected for the election day page program by the electoral board or the general registrar in cooperation with high school authorities. The program shall be designed to stimulate the pages' interest in elections and registering to vote, provide assistance to the officers of election, and ensure the safe entry and exit of elderly and disabled voters from the polling place. B. Each page shall receive, from a person designated by the electoral board, training on the duties, responsibilities, and prohibited conduct of election pages. Each page shall take and sign an oath as an election page, serve under the direct supervision of the chief officer of election of his assigned polling place, and observe strict impartiality at all times. C. Election pages may observe the electoral process and seek information from the chief officer of election and may assist in the arrangement of the voting equipment, furniture, and other materials for the conduct of the election but shall not enter any voting booth. Election pages may, at the direction and under the direct supervision of the chief officer of election, assist in the counting of unmarked ballots but shall not handle or touch ballots in any other circumstance.

ii § 24.2-604.5. Polling places; presence of additional persons authorized. A. A local electoral board or general registrar may authorize in writing the presence in the polling place of additional neutral observers as may be deemed appropriate, except as otherwise prohibited or limited by the provisions of § 24.2-604. Such observers shall comply with the restrictions in subsections A and C of § 24.2-604 and shall not be allowed in any case to provide assistance to any voter as permitted under § 24.2-649 or to wear any indication that they are authorized to assist voters either inside the polling place or within 40 feet of any entrance to the polling place. The officers of election may require any person who is found by a majority of the officers present to be in violation of this subsection to remain outside of the prohibited area. B. The officers of election shall permit representatives of the news media to visit and film or photograph inside the polling place for a reasonable and limited period of time while the polls are open. However, the media (i) shall comply with the restrictions in subsections A and C of § 24.2-604; (ii) shall not film or photograph any person who specifically asks the media representative at that time that he not be filmed or photographed; (iii) shall not film or photograph the voter or the ballot in such a way that divulges how any individual voter is voting; and (iv) shall not film or photograph the voter list or any other voter record or material at the precinct in such a way that it divulges the name or other information concerning any individual voter. Any interviews with voters, candidates, or other persons; live broadcasts; or taping of reporters' remarks shall be conducted outside of the polling place and the prohibited area. The officers of election may require any person who is found by a majority of the officers present to be in violation of this subsection to leave the polling place and the prohibited area.

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