News

Virginia governor issues EO on voter rolls

Yesterday (June 7), Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order addressing voter roll maintenance issues. The governor hopes to “strengthen Virginia’s voter rolls and ensure better data accuracy,” in a press release to Newsbreak.com.

Virginia voter rolls rated highly

The four-page Executive Order 31 is available here.

In it, Governor Youngkin boasts of the “improvements over the last two years” in maintenance practices for Virginia voter rolls. But next year Virginia will adopt a new State-wide voter registration system – so that the Virginia Department of Elections will have sole responsibility for registering voters. Presently, individual unit (i.e., county or independent city) registrars keep their own voter rolls. (In Hanover County, according to one activist, the Registrar of Elections maintains her voter roll by consulting the obituary pages of newspapers having significant circulation in the county. This activist complained to CNAV that obituaries, which estates must pay to place, are by definition incomplete.)

In preparation for transition to having the State keep the voter rolls, the Governor is now ordering that:

  1. The Departments of Elections, Health, and Motor Vehicles, and the Virginia State Police, update their present data sharing agreements. They have until ninety days post-signing to accomplish this.
  2. An Interagency Data Review Work Group, with representatives from the State Police, Departments of Health and Motor Vehicles, the Office of Data Governance, and the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, and “other stakeholders as may be deemed necessary,” recommend changes to data-sharing practices to give the Elections Department the information it will need when it takes over voter registration from all units.
  3. The Elections Department set standards for data sharing for other agencies to use when sharing data with it.
  4. The Elections Department ask other States to share voter registration and histories.

Effect for future elections

Any immediate updates to current data-sharing agreements will presumably take effect in ninety days, in time for the Presidential election. The State-wide voter registration system will, the governor hopes, be ready for use for the general election in next year’s Governor’s and House of Delegates elections.

Governor Youngkin became Virginia’s first Republican governor in eight years, in 2021. Democratic former Gov. Terry McAuliffe made a campaign-sinking statement about parents having no role in their children’s education. Governors in Virginia are not re-eligible. EO 31 might be Gov. Youngkin’s best method to give the Republican nominee a fighting chance to succeed him. Republican sources name Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle Sears as most likely to receive the nomination for the Election of 2025.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Articles

Back to top button