Fredericksburg got complaints on Election Day, continued voting on lawyer’s advice

FILE — Children accompany their father as he votes at the polling place in the gymnasium at Washington Mill Elementary School on Nov. 7, 2017 in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The Fredericksburg Electoral Board was told of problems that could be leading hundreds of voters to cast ballots in the wrong race on Election Day in Virginia, but the city attorney advised them to continue with the election, the electoral board said in a statement to WTOP late Wednesday.

The electoral board and registrar first asked Edgardo Cortes, the commissioner of Virginia’s Department of Elections, what to do about the complaints, according to the statement. Cortes advised the electoral board to get legal advice from Fredericksburg’s city attorney, who the electoral board said advised the board to continue with the election.

Democrats believe a number of precincts may have wrongly provided more than 600 voters ballots for the House of Delegates 88th District, which was easily won by Republican incumbent Mark Cole, instead of the House of Delegates 28th District, which is likely headed for a recount.

State Board of Elections records suggest the same possibly mistaken distinctions had been used in each election since new maps were drawn in 2011.

Since the electoral board had already submitted its results Monday morning before getting formal letters complaining about the issue, the statement said any changes at this point would be up to the State Board of Elections. That board is due to meet next Monday to certify statewide results.

If the latest results hold, Republicans would hang on to control the House of Delegates 51-49. The 28th District is one of three where Democrats expect to file for recounts that could change that.


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