Virginia for Election Transparency

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Locality: Prince William County

File Name: Prince William Survey 20210910

ObserversJeff Fuller: Haymarket, Lisa Gogal: Haymarket, Lavinia Flores: Woodbridge
Date of interview09/10/2021
Time and date of initial call and email:09/03/2021
Time and date of response:09/03/2021
Did the registrar refuse to meet you:No
If yes, please provide the reason given for not meeting:
Survey Answers
1. What is your biggest concern about the upcoming election?Are we prepared for the number of people who are coming to vote? That is a questionable number. We have the precincts established, and we have sufficient election officers. All the ballots will be printed, and all the machines are being tested. We have people who have been trained, and they are going to be retrained again, because that is part of my process. Everything that you can do to prepare for anything is being taken care of, but it’s that unknown.
2. Any other major concerns?Not really. I know what the rules are. I’m not particularly worried about it. If people don’t follow the rules, I’m prepared to do what I need to do to make sure the election is safe, correct, and accurate.
3. Do you feel like you have the resources, equipment, personnel, and training needed to run an effective election in November?Yes
3a. Any additional information?
4. If no, what is missing?You always doubt yourself, but I’ve taken steps with my training staff. We are doing training in person. As far as resources, we have the equipment and a great, dedicated staff. Do we always have enough staff? No, we have some empty positions, but the new General Registrar will fill these. Right now, I feel comfortable.
5. The county election board is supposed to consist of 2 Democrats and a Republican under a Democrat governor, but in some areas, boards have had trouble finding willing Republicans and have appointed an Independent instead, or another Democrat. What is the situation in this county?2D+R
6. What about precinct staff? Are you able to have equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans?No
6a. Provide DetailsThe state law requires that the opportunity be given to the local parties to supply us with people they would like to see working at the polls. One would expect the Democrat and Republican parties to give us a list, but that is not happening in Prince William County. Last time I checked we had approximately 1500 election workers who are confirmed who are ready and willing to work. Of that number, about 600 are Democrats and 300 are Republicans. When someone applies for a job as an election worker, they don’t indicate a party, and we are not allowed to ask.
7. Is the county Board of Elections engaged in your work year-round, or mostly near elections?Yearly
7a. Any additional information?
8. When was the last audit of the voter file in your county?2021-07-01 00:00:00
8a. No. of days since last audit:
8b. Any additional information?The voter file is controlled predominately by the State Department of Elections. We don’t do an audit. After the 2020 November elections, the state picked several locations, and we were one. They gave instructions to run random ballots through the machines and give the results. Our results on that random sample were good.
9a. Does the Health Department send a list of deceased people to your office every month so they can be removed from the voter roll?No
9b. If no, how often do they send a list?They send it to the State Department of Elections or “Elect.”
10. When was the last time the Clerk of Courts submitted a list of individuals who declined to serve on jury duty on the basis of being a non-citizen?
10a. Any additional information?We have never heard of such a thing. The Clerk of the Circuit Court has never heard of this being done.
Record date and other list(s), if relevantWe have never heard of such a thing. The Clerk of the Circuit Court has never heard of this being done.
11. When was the last time you had access to the National Change of Address List or any other change of address list?
Other list(s):
12a. Are you confident that the voter file is accurate and up to date?No
12b. If no, what is/are your main concern(s) about the list?Define accurate and up to date. ☺ The state law requires that voters stay on the inactive status for two federal election cycles. That’s potentially eight years that a person who has not registered to vote in a different state or registered a change of address may still be listed at a given home/address. My concern is the process. We have to follow the state statutes.
13. How many households in your locality have more than 7 individuals registered at the same address? Number:No idea. I don’t know.
14. During registration, how do you verify that voters are citizens?They have to sign an application form under penalty of perjury. They check a box on the application.
15. There are three types of voting machines used in Virginia. Can you tell me which machines you use?L and A (Logics and Accuracy) Both parties are notified, and it occurs this Monday at 10:00. They will go to our operations center and watch as staff does the programming for each machine.
16. Who calibrates the voting machines, and can you please explain the process?
17. Do you invite party representatives to witness the calibration?Yes
17a. Any additional information?
18a. Are voting machines ever connected to the internet?No
18b. If they are not connected to the internet, how and when are they updated?Two flash drives are used, one is for recording of the votes and one is for the operations. This is done by the staff: Chief Deputy, Operations Manager, and four others. Each of the 93 precincts has a cage.
19. As an election professional, do you think the changes made in the election process in Virginia in response to COVID have weakened election integrity, strengthened election integrity, or made no change in election integrity?Strengthened
19a. Any additional information?I think it has been strengthened because of the number of people involved. The checks and balances that were added to the early voting locations and people involved were impressive. The election officials take their jobs very seriously.
20a. Did you receive any funding or in-kind contributions for training, staff, voter education or equipment, or any other purpose from outside the state of Virginia?No
20b. If yes, what was the funding or contribution used for?NA
21. Effective Jul 1, 2021, Senate Bill 1097, eliminated requirements for voters to have a witness signature on absentee ballots for any election during a declared state of emergency. The Governor has now rescinded the state of emergency. How are you training your staff to ensure that there is a signature match for the upcoming elections?There is no requirement for anyone to check identifications when you come in to vote in person. I don’t know how that would really work.
22. There is a lot of concern in Virginia and across the country about the security and integrity of the ballot drop boxes. What are the chain of custody procedures for ballot drop boxes?All Drop Boxes are located inside the voting precinct and under the control of the Election Officers during open hours. After hours the boxes are locked in a secured room.
23. Was there any time during the last election cycle when your drop boxes did not have video monitoring?Yes
23a. Any additional information?Not every facility has video monitoring. County owned facilities try to have video capabilities.
24. Who is responsible for reviewing the video?No reason to review. None have been reviewed.
24b. Were party observers present during the review?No
25. Would you provide training and support, or designate us to provide training and support, for an election day page program as described in 24.2-604.3?Unknown
25a. Any additional information?We have participated in the page program before but not last year due to Covid. We are open to participate again and facilitate that training. We are participating with the Bar Association at the schools for those students turning 18 to help register them to vote, educate/provide a civics course, etc. The League of Women Voters will assist us. [The Registrar was not familiar with the law listed. See Endnote.]
26. Would you authorize non-partisan election observers with the same rights as party representatives; as described in 24.2-604.5 A?Unknown
26a. Any additional information?I would have to see what that law says, because I went looking for that law and could not find it. I know there have been special programs with the State Department in the past, and they’ve participated. [The Registrar was not familiar with the law listed. See Endnote.]
27. Would you authorize international non-partisan observers from recognized election monitoring organizations?Unknown
27a. Any additional information?That makes me nervous. I would really need to know more.
28. Have your local party chairs been notified that they are entitled to send observers to your office each day it is open and receiving in-person absentee ballots?Refused
28a. Any additional information?We have not notified them.
29a. Do you have a publication that you provide to your election officials regarding rights and responsibilities of observers?Yes
29b. If no, would you be willing to distribute such a publication that we would prepare based on Virginia law?Yes
30. Question Please characterize your interaction with the Registrar asHelpful Polite

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