by Martin Davis and Shaun Kenney
Last week, Cardinal News published a piece by reporter Markus Schmidt about the difficulties facing several Democratic candidates for state and local offices in Virginia, owing to complications with their paperwork.
Mistakes related to paperwork happen every year, and sometimes the Virginia Department of Elections can sort out the problem. Schmidt’s story notes two instances in recent years when this happened. Notably, in 2019, when the department accepted late paperwork for Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Scott County, and in 2021, when it placed Del. Dave LaRock, R-Loudoun County, on the ballot despite a missed deadline.
City and county registrars, however, are the people who are on the front lines of most issues relating to candidates’ paperwork issues. And these people are often caught between conflicting interpretations of critical statutes.
In Spotsylvania County, concern over signatures collected by two candidates for local office provides an interesting look into the challenges local registrars face. It also reveals some issues with the way the state is relaying information to candidates and registrars. Continue reading