Virginia for Election Transparency

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Locality: Middlesex County

File Name: Middlesex Survey 20210804

ObserversJohanna Carrington, Mary Carol Taylor, Lisa Smith
Date of interview08/04/2021
Time and date of initial call and email:08/02/2021
Time and date of response:08/02/2021
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?Worried about politically charged implications of a new referendum to remove civil war statue outside courthouse
2. Any other major concerns?Next big concern funding. Many of the new mandates don't have funding by the Board of Supervisors
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?* Almost
4. If no, what is missing?They have a trailer for storage of "non-secured" equipment that is overflowing and we desperately need another. If we cannot purchase we will rent.
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?Yes
6a. Provide DetailsShe has to beg and plead on both sides. At first it was harder to get D's Now its harder to get R's. After 2020 election many do not want to be labeled EITHER D or R, for fear of what neighbors might think.
7. Is the county Board of Elections engaged in your work year-round, or mostly near elections?Yearly
7a. Any additional information?Whenever I need them they are there, the are "awesome!" They do not hover, they guide me in the right direction. The chair is a former registrar and previously worked as State Board of Elections (Barbara Cockrell)
8. When was the last audit of the voter file in your county?
8a. No. of days since last audit:
8b. Any additional information?Deceased people weekly (registrar does on their own, no report) via obituaries, funeral homes a & news - Asst. Registrar is tasked with this job. Felons & SS number cross check every other month from state.
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?Yes
9b. If no, how often do they send a list?NVRA sent July 2021 from state. Done last month. Sher marks her roles for confirmation. After 8 years of non-voting before kicked off roles. She will manually code them flagged.
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?Never
Record date and other list(s), if relevantNever
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):Last month. Sent once a year as determined by law. Dependent on party in charge: R will remove names before elections and D's remove after elections
12a. Are you confident that the voter file is accurate and up to date?Yes
12b. If no, what is/are your main concern(s) about the list?
13. How many households in your locality have more than 7 individuals registered at the same address? Number:1
14. During registration, how do you verify that voters are citizens?They affirm citizenry by checking a box. We put it in the system. The only way they would be flagged is if they put "non-citizen" status at DMV
15. There are three types of voting machines used in Virginia. Can you tell me which machines you use?Unison - Optical Scanner
16. Who calibrates the voting machines, and can you please explain the process?2 Middlesez citizens were hired by electoral board. Bobby Wilson Jr owner of Oasis computers. They process the decks twice; once before early voting. Again before election day. They run 2 decks. One from Manufacturer. The other the registrar and her assistant "roll dice" random selection.
17. Do you invite party representatives to witness the calibration?Yes
17a. Any additional information?Have to have them there by law - most of the time they both are there Active party chairs - they attend every electoral board meeting. The D & R chair have worked together on campaigns.
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?Never connected to the Internet
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?Weakened
19a. Any additional information?It put a lot of voter responsibility on this office vs the voter. Ballot curing (for example) when there ws no signature before 2020 it would be thrown out. Now we have to notify within 3 days. College kids - she called the College to verify where to send the ballot. Drop off location vs Drop Box
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?Not allowed to accept gifts from out of state. No Grants. Did receive COVID CARES Act.
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?We are changing our envelopes to say "Make sure you have signature". Still waiting for Board of Elections for final changes. Still have curing.
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?Ballot drop location on site, operates only during business hours * see photos attached
23. Was there any time during the last election cycle when your drop boxes did not have video monitoring?No
23a. Any additional information?N/A
24. Who is responsible for reviewing the video?N/A
24b. Were party observers present during the review?Yes
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?Yes
25a. Any additional information?We have a page program in conjunction with H.S. government teacher. Did not use in 2020 due to COVID. The kids could do everything BUT hand ballot to voter. They monitored door for curbside voting. They cleaned. The registrar does voter Ed, talking to Rotary & NAACP
26. Would you authorize non-partisan election observers with the same rights as party representatives; as described in 24.2-604.5 A?Yes
26a. Any additional information?Normally the electoral board would. I would only do it with their approval
27. Would you authorize international non-partisan observers from recognized election monitoring organizations?Unknown
27a. Any additional information?We were asked in 2020 but said no due to COVID. Again, would not say yes unless electoral board agrees.
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?No
28a. Any additional information?She sends correspondence about early voting processing. "Maybe I need to add this?"
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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