Judge Rules Virginia Board Of Elections Rule About Late Absentee Mail-In Ballots Was Illegal
JANUARY 27, 2021 AT 9:42AM
In August of last year, a rule was made by the Virginia Board of Elections that would have allowed elections officials to count late mail-in ballots that arrived without a postmark up to three days after this past Novembers presidential election. A judge reversed this on Monday, ruling that the boards decision was illegal.
Virginia Judge Issues Ruling
Virginia Circuit Court Judge William Eldridge ruled that with this rule, the board violated state elections law, according to the Daily Caller. He issued an injunction that will stop Virginia from adopting this rule in future elections moving forward.
Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), a legal group representing Frederick County electoral board member Thomas Reed in his case against the state mail-in ballot law, announced the judges decision.
This is a big win for the Rule of Law, said PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams. This consent decree gives Mr. Reed everything he requested a permanent ban on accepting ballots without postmarks after Election Day and is a loss for the Virginia bureaucrats who said ballots could come in without these protections.
Elections Board Reveals New Rule
On August 4 of last year, Virginia Board of Elections revealed the new rule, telling county boards that any ballots received by the general registrars office by noon on the third day after the election
but does not have a postmark, or the postmark is missing or illegible were not to be rendered invalid. A week later, the board added that these ballots should be counted.
Pilf fired back in October by filing a lawsuit against the board on the behalf of Reed, who claimed that this rule violated state law. The specific Virginia statute that he thinks it violated states, Any absentee ballot returned to the general registrar after the closing of the polls on election day but before noon on the third day after the election and postmarked on or before the date of the election shall be counted.
Too little too late.