Chesterfield voter registrar says all laws were followed ahead of primary voting

Amanda Chase is questioning Tuesday’s primary election results from Senate District 12.
Published: Jun. 22, 2023 at 12:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2023 at 1:26 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Amanda Chase is questioning Tuesday’s primary election results from Senate District 12.

Chase claims her campaign should have been allowed in the room to watch the certification of machines ahead of early voting.

“Right now, we’re in the process of raising money to hire a good attorney that can give us the legal counsel that we need,” Chase said. “We know that the state law has been violated, clearly. So now we’re going to hold people accountable.”

Chesterfield Voter Registrar Missy Vera has responded by saying her office acted in compliance with state law, and she is confident in the machine certification process. That’s because state law says any political party may have one representative present during that process, not each campaign.

“I would say the complaint has almost no chance of causing the election to be overturned,” said Larry Sabato, executive director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “It’s not going to happen.”

But Chase believes her own party has it out for her.

“I don’t care what the naysayers are going to say,” Chase said. “They’ve been saying that for years because they’re more concerned about protecting the swamp than they are looking out for the interest of the people.”

Meanwhile, Glen Sturtevant pointed NBC12 to his victory statement from Wednesday when asked for comment on Chase’s plans to protest the primary results. He won by 346 votes.

“The key to democracy is accepting the results of elections you lose, not just the elections you win,” Sabato said. “I don’t think Senator Chase quite grasps that.”

The Republican Party of Virginia is staying out of the issue, and The Virginia Department of Elections has no comment.

You can read a full statement from the Chesterfield County voter registrar below:

The Code of Virginia (24.2-633) states that the Registrar must send notification to the chairman of the local committee of each political party. The political party may have one representative present while the equipment is tested. Representatives are invited to only observe the process and see the machines are in proper condition for the election. Representatives do not physically touch the machine. Most times, the representative stays on-site observing the testing for a short period of time. For this election, the representative observed for no longer than an hour and a half.

It is the Registrar staff that conducts the Logic and Accuracy testing, all of whom take an oath to prevent fraud, deceit, and abuse in the conduct of the election and act in compliance of the law. The Registrar and an Electoral Board member are present during the entire testing of the voting machines. We also have someone from the vendor, ES&S/PrintElect, present to assist in testing the early voting machines. A test deck of ballots is scanned through each machine and the votes are tabulated. The results are then matched against what is scanned to ensure accuracy in the totals. At that point, the machine is certified and sealed with a security seal ready for the election. When a representative is not present, the voting machine is sealed in the presence of the Registrar and Electoral Board member.

All voting machines used in Chesterfield County must be in compliance with Federal and State Certification Standards.

ES&S is a State certified vendor for voting equipment used in the county, and the firm complies with all applicable requirements of the Code of Virginia demonstrating accuracy, reliability, and security.

The Registrar’s Office acted in compliance with the Code of Virginia and are confident in the process the machines were properly certified.

Chase says she has found a team of attorneys willing to take on her case, and one, she says, has served on Former President Trump’s legal team. In a statement released Thursday, she asks her supporters to help donate for the $7,000 retainer fee. Chase says so far, $2,600 has been raised.

NBC12 asked Chase which attorneys she is working with but says she is not giving away any strategy right now.