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Board of Elections asks for probe into Montgomery County voting

January 31, 2011|Joe Dashiell | Reporter
Joe Dashiell/News-7

RICHMOND, Va. — The State Board of Elections is asking the Virginia Attorney General’s Office to investigate allegations of voting irregularities in Montgomery County. Meeting Monday afternoon in Richmond, members of the board could have petitioned for the removal of the registrar or members of the local electoral board, but chose to request the investigation instead.

The state board was responding to complaints following the November 2nd election. Election workers in a handful of Montgomery precincts were unable to access electronic log books of registered voters, but they allowed people to vote on electronic voting machines, after reviewing their identification and writing their names on a list. Election officials say they all turned out to be registered voters, though some voted in the wrong precinct.

During Monday’s meeting, a member of the Montgomery County Electoral Board said she had 30 seconds to make a decision as the polls were preparing to open, and she was afraid there wouldn’t be enough provisional ballots to go around if all of the precincts had the same problem.

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The state board also heard from critics of the Montgomery County election officials, including Terry Ellen Carter who filed the original complaint, and Mary Houska, the president of the Montgomery County League of Women Voters. Houska called for the State Board of Elections to remove Registrar Randall Wertz.

Wertz and members of the electoral board declined comment after the meeting.

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