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Virginia Attorney General announces election integrity unit

Attorney General Jason Miyares is starting an election integrity unit in the AG’s office.

Jason Miyares
Virginia General Assembly
/
Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares

A news release says the unit will provide legal advice to the Department of Elections, investigate possible violations of election law, and work with the elections community to ensure uniform application of voting laws.

The organization will be made up of some 20 attorneys, investigators and paralegals from various divisions within the Attorney General’s office.

In a statement, Miyares says the unit will “help restore confidence in our democratic process.”

Here is the complete announcement:

RICHMOND, VA - Attorney General Jason Miyares (me-YAR-ez) today announced the
creation of the Election Integrity Unit at the Office of the Attorney General. This unit will provide legal advice to the Department of Elections, investigate and prosecute violations of Virginia election law, work with the election community throughout the year to ensure uniformity and legality in application of election laws, and work with law enforcement to ensure legality and purity in elections.

The purpose of the unit is to provide advice, support, and resources to ensure that Virginia election law continues to be applied in a uniform manner, and increase confidence in our state elections.

“I pledged during the 2021 campaign to work to increase transparency and strengthen confidence in our state elections. It should be easy to vote, and hard to cheat. The Election Integrity Unit will work to help to restore confidence in our democratic process in the Commonwealth,” said Attorney General Miyares.

Virginia has a system of elections that divides authority among 133 local electoral boards and general registrars and the bi-partisan State Board of Elections. The new Election Integrity Unit will work with the State Board, the Department of Elections and the dedicated, hard-working local election officials in the upcoming election and beyond. The unit is made up of more than 20 attorneys, investigators and paralegals from across the various divisions in Office of the Attorney General.

Under Virginia law, the Attorney General has broad original jurisdiction in the area of elections. Specifically, the law states that the Attorney General ”shall have full authority to do whatever is necessary or appropriate to enforce the election laws or prosecute violations thereof. The Attorney General shall exercise the authority granted by this section to conduct an investigation, prosecute a violation [and] assure the enforcement of the elections laws . . . ].”

David Seidel is proud to lead the journalists at Radio IQ and WVTF as news director. David joined the newsroom in May 2017 and brings more than 20 years of experience in broadcast journalism in Virginia. Prior to joining Radio IQ David was an assistant news director, assignment manager and producer at WDBJ Television in Roanoke. He also worked as a reporter for WHSV Television in Harrisonburg. David graduated from Washington and Lee University in Lexington with degrees in journalism and history.