Lawsuit claims Fairfax Co. is ignoring absentee ballot rules

Less than two weeks before Virginia’s election, Fairfax County’s Office of Elections has been hit with a lawsuit claiming that election officials have been overlooking a section of state law pertaining to absentee ballot applications.

The lawsuit, filed this week in Fairfax County Circuit Court, was brought by the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, which describes itself as “an independent, nonpartisan, education and research organization.”

“When you run an election you have to play by the rules,” said J. Christian Adams, an attorney working on the case.

Adams is the president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative-aligned group that, according to its website, “exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity and fight against lawlessness in American elections.”

When submitting absentee ballot applications by mail, Virginia voters are required under state law to include the last four digits of their Social Security number as a way to prove that they are who they say they are.

The lawsuit, which cites someone who physically examined hundreds of applications, claims that the county’s elections office has accepted more than 300 applications that don’t include those numbers.

In a brief statement, Fairfax County General Registrar Scott Konopasek disputed that claim.

“The Office of Elections is processing absentee ballot requests in accordance with the laws of Virginia,” Konopasek said. “Voters in Fairfax County can continue to have confidence in their elections.”

The lawsuit demands that the county stop accepting applications that do not include the required numbers. It also calls on the county to track down those voters who’ve had their applications improperly approved so they can provide their numbers.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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