“Not Delivered Or Just Not Picked Up? Late Stafford, VA Ballots Roil Tight Race”

Doug Chapin:

A tight House of Delegates race in Stafford County (Quantico), Virginia is generating frustration and controversy after the county board of elections voted to exclude 55 absentee ballots that arrived in the election office on Wednesday morning after the 7pm Election Day deadline. The problem is, it isn’t clear when the ballots arrived at the post office – meaning that the delay could have been a failure of the county to pick up timely ballots. …

What’s unfortunate is that all of this controversy seems to have been avoidable had the election office implemented the bar code tracking program – which would have indicated that ballots were arriving on Election Night – and made a final sweep of post offices late in the day to pick up last-minute absentee ballots. Since they didn’t, now a close election (which happens) has become a controversial one (which doesn’t have to happen). Given that the race in question is one of three statewide that could affect partisan control of the House chamber, you can bet it will get full attention. There will almost certainly be more developments in this case, which may or may not change the outcome – but you know that it will create demands for explanations (and maybe change) at the Stafford County elections office. Hang on – and stay tuned …

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