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Behind the scenes of Virginia Beach's vote canvassing following Republican primaries

Although the races in Virginia’s 2022 Republican Congressional primaries are over, it only signals another and different chapter of work for elections officials.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The work of election night doesn’t end once the polls close.

Even though the races in Virginia’s 2022 Republican Congressional primaries are over, it only signals another and different chapter of work for elections officials like Dave Belote.

“It's something that somebody in two years could come back and reconstruct. They can say, ‘Yes, the number of votes and ballots checks out,’” Belote said, the vice-chair of the Virginia Beach Electoral Board.

Most voters don’t always see what happens once they leave the voting booths. Wednesday, 13News Now went behind the scenes to observe the vote canvassing process following Tuesday’s Republican primary races in Virginia.

There are two upcoming congressional races in Hampton Roads, as State Sen. Jen Kiggans and Terry Namkung won the Republican nominations for Districts 2 and 3, respectively. They'll face off against Democratic incumbents Rep. Elaine Luria and Rep. Bobby Scott. 

Wednesday, election workers carried out a necessary and integral part of the election process: tallying the vote and ballot totals across all 100 of the city's voting precincts to make sure the numbers align and match up. 

"This is about matching voters to ballots," Belote said. 

Elections officials finished the canvassing process several hours after starting, saying that having just one race to sort through expedited what might normally be a lengthier process during a general election cycle. 

The documents accounted for on Wednesday during the canvassing process are then handed over to the city's elected clerk of circuit court and is then kept behind a vault. 

“There have been an awful lot of claims made about ballot fraud and how easily these numbers can change, but they’re not. This isn’t even connected to the internet," Belote said. 

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