After voter registration delays, Loudoun Co. chair urges residents to avoid ‘potential headache’

The chair of Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors has sent an open letter pointing out that 4,800 county residents were caught in voter registration delays earlier this month, and urging everyone to check whether their credentials are in place.

Earlier this month, state elections officials said a technical problem with Virginia’s statewide voter registration system led to significant delays in processing new voter registrations and updating existing ones. About 107,000 registrations in total were affected across the commonwealth.

“Voter registrars across the commonwealth are working overtime and through the night to get these registrations processed,” Board Chair Phyllis Randall told WTOP, but she urged voters who haven’t gotten confirmation of their registrations to check online before the deadline.

The deadline for regular voter registration is Monday, Oct. 17. For the first time, Virginia will have same-day voter registration through Election Day, which is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Voters can fill out the required forms at the local registrar’s office or an early voting location, or they can register at their polling place on Nov. 8 — but either way, they’ll be casting a provisional ballot, and those aren’t counted immediately; they’re set aside by local election officials and investigated first.

In her letter to voters, Randall called that process a “potential headache and needless confusion” and recommended voters check their registration status at “If you’re not registered,” she said, “get registered before the deadline on October 17th.”

“If you haven’t registered, I certainly encourage same-day voter registration,” Randall told WTOP. “But you have much less likelihood of having issues if you register to vote in advance.”

Randall remarked on the irony of the registration problems under the administration of Gov. Glenn Youngkin, whose campaign emphasized election integrity and promised to bring a supposed private-sector efficiency to public service.

Randall also told voters in her letter that the last two elections were “free and fair,” even though she wasn’t pleased with the outcome of last year’s. In fact, she wrote, “We in Loudoun have never had a substantiated allegation of voter fraud or voter irregularity. Read it again: NEVER.”

She told WTOP, “Gov. Glenn Youngkin is my governor, elected in a free and fair election.”

Randall said her grandfather collected money through his church in Denver to attend the 1963 March on Washington, and she remembered being 4 years old, holding her grandmother’s hand and walking through snow to vote.

“Voting is sacrosanct to me,” said Randall. “For anyone to do anything that impedes, in any way, people’s right to vote, is just not acceptable.”

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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