Richmond General Registrar addresses issues from November election

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — On Friday,  Richmond General Registrar Kirk Showalter defended herself and the electoral board following the November election, after which the Virginia Democratic Party wrote a scathing letter to the State Board of Elections citing issues with machine problems, incomplete polling books and training polling staff in the city.

During Friday’s meeting, SBE Vice Chair Clara Belle Wheeler said, “despite the best efforts of the registrar and the members of the board, there were election officers who were not asking for any ID.”

According to the letter sent by the VADP, some voters were turned away, asked for multiple forms of ID, and given the wrong ballots During November’s election. While acknowledging that there were problems, Showalter, says they did all they could to train election officers.

“We had voting machine training classes, we had electronic poll book training classes, we had paperwork training classes, we had classes for new elections officers that were six-and-a-half hours long,” she explained.

Having split precincts contributed to some voters getting the wrong ballots. And Showalter says confusion over unique IDs required by the new electronic poll books, could have been avoided.”If we had tested it in a production environment, we would have known it was asking for an id number, tested it and cured it before it went to the polls.”, she explained.

“If we had tested it in a production environment, we would have known it was asking for an id number, tested it and cured it before it went to the polls,” she said.

The State Board of Elections called Friday’s meeting an opportunity to learn from mistakes, however tensions remain.

Expressing frustration over the way the situation has been handled, Showalter says, “I do resent what has been a 30-year career in public government. I think at the very least, at the longevity, I’m owed a little bit more courtesy in the handling of the situation.”

The SBE also asked for more transparency during the training process for election officers.

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