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Virginia Democrats urge DOJ to investigate voter purge before Election Day

FILE - "I Voted" stickers are displayed at a polling place.
Thomas Peipert
FILE - "I Voted" stickers are displayed at a polling place.

Some members of Virginia's congressional delegation have signed onto a second letter asking the Department of Justice to investigate the Youngkin administration’s recent voter purge.

Mistakenly purging voters before an election is completely unacceptable to Democrats in Virginia's congressional delegation.

"We need to know why they were taken off the rolls, and if they’ve been reinstated, have they been informed that they have been reinstated," asks Congressman Bobby Scott, dean of Virginia's congressional delegation. He is among the members of Congress asking the U.S. attorney general to look into why voters with probation issues were removed from the rolls even though they should’ve been able to vote.

"Someone who is entitled to vote and who was illegally purged should be able to vote," says Senator Tim Kaine. "More broadly, the DOJ, if there's an investigation, I think would be looking at a set of these instances to determine whether there is a more concerted effort in the State Board of Elections to unlawfully control who has access to the ballot."

Congressman Gerry Connolly is skeptical of the Youngkin administration’s shifting story.

“The original number of voters purged was, we were told, around 240. And that number magically jumped to 3,400 underlining our concern in bold red ink,” Connolly says.

Governor Youngkin has ordered the state inspector general to look into it. The Democratic members of Virginia’s congressional delegation say the Department of Justice needs to take action before Election Day.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.