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Senator Chase's statement regarding voter registration issues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 21, 2016
Chesterfield, VA
“I have heard from Chesterfield registrar, Larry Haake, numerous times, as well as the Vice Chair of the State Board of Elections, that this governor’s administration has made grave errors regarding the process of voter registration during this critical presidential election year. Against the better judgement, wisdom and experience of our registrars, IT systems were brought in-house into the Department of Elections, after which registrars have experienced severe slowdowns and glitches, and this past Monday, system failures, which apparently prevented citizens from registering to vote by the deadline.
The legislature has no role in the conduct of the elections; it is entirely incumbent upon the executive branch to ensure we have a smooth registration and election process. Unfortunately, this administration has had a less-than-collaborative relationship with our hardworking registrars.
Governor McAuliffe chose to score political points by pushing through mass felon rights restoration without coordinating with our registrars in what would be a time-consuming process in an already-busy-year. In fact, this group of potential voters was the only demographic that was mailed a postage-paid voter registration form by the Commonwealth of Virginia, which is experiencing a budget shortfall.
Republicans called for a joint Privileges and Elections Committee meeting last Thursday to give registrars from around the Commonwealth an opportunity to be heard. Our hope was to find immediate solutions for the short-term concerns. Testimony after testimony during the 5-hour meeting revealed the persistent and prevalent malfunction of the registration process in the Commonwealth. Without a doubt, the legislature will consider further action when we convene for the 2017 session.
I want to thank our registrars for the extra time and dedication they are committing to ensure this process goes as smoothly as possible under the current circumstances.”
Senator Amanda Chase represents Virginia’s 11th Senatorial District, which includes: parts of Chesterfield County, Colonial Heights, and Amelia County. Senator Chase serves on the following committees: Senate Health and Education, Transportation, Local Governments, and Privileges and Elections.
For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact (804)698-7511 or
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