Virginia court tosses lawsuit alleging electoral misconduct in DC suburb

The Washington Times reported Saturday that a lawsuit alleging misconduct by election officials in a Virginia county has been thrown out. 

According to the Times, Virginia Circuit Court Judge Michael Devine ruled that the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) did not have standing to pursue its claim.

No standing

Devine said only a candidate, a campaign, or a voter has standing to file suit under state law, and that the organization fell into none of the categories.

According to the Times, the PILF had contended in its suit, first filed last week, that absentee ballot applications were being accepted and approved by officials in Fairfax County even though the last four digits of a voters’ Social Security numbers, which are required to be listed, were missing.

Indeed, even County General Registrar Scott Konopasek acknowledged in a joint stipulation on Friday that some applications had been improperly filled out.

In a statement to the Times, PILF president J. Christian Adams stressed that his group had lost on purely technical grounds. “The merits of the case were not reached,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that an important election will take place with the registrar of the largest county in Virginia breaking the law, ” Adams added. “It isn’t fair to change the rules in the middle of the game. Fairfax is the only county breaking the law.”

A tight race

The news comes as Virginians are scheduled to hit the polls on Tuesday in a race that may provide insights into how both Democrats and Republicans will fare in next year’s midterm elections.

While Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe was initially regarded as a strong favorite, recent polling has shown the race to be much closer than expected. Lynchburg’s ABC 13 News reported that a survey published by Roanoke College found McAuliffe just a single point ahead of Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin.

Meanwhile, a Fox News poll put out last week gave Youngkin an 8-point advantage over McAuliffe, who formerly served as Virginia’s governor from 2014 to 2018.

Virginia is considered a blue state, with President Joe Biden winning by a 10-point margin in 2020. However, the president’s popularity has seen a significant drop over the past year, with a recent NBC News poll finding that only 40% of Americans approve of his job performance.

Will his and other Democrats’ failures be enough to convince Virginia voters to go red this time around? Only time will tell.

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