RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Days after the Virginia Department of Elections (ELECT) revealed that some 3,400 Virginians had been wrongfully removed from the voter rolls as the result of an error by Virginia State Police, we are hearing from Governor Glenn Youngkin about the situation.
At an event in Louisa County, 8News Capitol Bureau Reporter Tyler Englander pressed the governor about why his administration misled the public after ELECT originally told 8News the number of affected people was only 275.
“I’d like to correct you, I don’t believe you were misled,” Youngkin said. “When I found out that there were roughly 300 that had been misclassified, I immediately asked the team to go back and rescrub because I was worried about the quality of this dataset, and of course when they did that they found over 3,000.”
Youngkin added that to his knowledge, all affected Virginians had been notified. Youngkin said he is concerned about the “historic nature” of the mistake and that’s why he has asked the Office of the State Inspector General to investigate what happened.
“My understanding is this has been a dataset that has been managed this way for decades and I think what is at risk here is not only people who might have been inappropriately categorized as having committed an additional felony versus violating their probation with a misdemeanor,” said Youngkin. “I’m also concerned about a number of people who did commit an additional felony, who were not removed from the voter rolls in previous years. This is a dataset that clearly needs to be studied and understood.”
Youngkin told 8News he is not sure how long it will take the Office of the Inspector General to complete its investigation, but said his administration is cooperating fully.
“Every Virginian that has the right to vote, should have the opportunity to vote. Not a single person should be excluded,” Youngkin said.