JOINT STATEMENT OF STAFFORD COUNTY AND FREDERICKSBURG DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEES
In the recent election, at least 147 voters in the 28th and 88th House of Delegates Districts were given the wrong ballots because they were improperly assigned to the wrong district. Multiple media reports show that this problem was well known since at least 2015 but perhaps as far back as 2011. This is not a “garden-variety error”, this is voter disenfranchisement.
The ability to vote in free and fair elections is not a Democrat or Republican issue, it goes to the very essence of representative government. Therefore, we call on the Stafford County and Fredericksburg City registrars to work with the Virginia Department of Elections to fix the voter registration files immediately and to establish meaningful ways to audit these files in the future.
We also call for an end to partisan political gerrymandering that allows politicians pick their voters instead of voters picking their politicians. We strongly support civil organizations like OneVirginia 2021 that lead the fight in advocating for nonpartisan redistricting in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Furthermore, we demand that the General Assembly pass meaningful reforms to improve voting accessibility and integrity. The Washington Post recently estimated that over 6,000 Virginians are registered in the wrong district while the Virginia Department of Elections does not have the budget nor the current authority to audit and fix these issues. Last year, three bills died that would have automatically registered any eligible Virginian to vote upon applying for or renewing a driver’s license. These bills would have boosted registration rates, cleaned up the rolls, and made voting more convenient all while lowering costs. Passing these bills should have been common sense!
In this New Year, we have a lot of work to do but we are encouraged by the enthusiasm and energy of our members and the outpouring of support from stakeholders in our communities. Together, we will achieve these meaningful reforms. The open and inclusive principles of the Democratic Party demand no less.
Benjamin M. Litchfield, Chair
Stafford County Democratic Committee
Caitlin Bennett, Chair
Fredericksburg Democratic Committee