NORFOLK, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from Jan. 14, 2022.
The Virginia Department of Elections (ELECT) said an audit found the results of the 2021 general election to be accurate.
Last November, Republicans won the majority in the House of Delegates, as well as the races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. According to ELECT data, nearly 55% of registered voters turned out to vote, an increase of 24% from the 2017 elections.
ELECT is required by Virginia law to conduct a yearly post-election "risk-limiting audit" of ballot scanner machines used in the Commonwealth.
What did the audit find?
Virginia localities are chosen at random to be audited with every locality participating at least once during a five-year period. This process allows officials to confirm if voting system software accurately reports election results.
The State Board of Elections (SBE) held a live drawing on Dec. 13, 2021, to chose which races would be audited. The localities chosen were:
- Brunswick, Emporia City, Franklin City, Greensville, Lunenburg, Southampton, and Sussex, a part of the House of Delegates 75th District.
- Prince William County and Manassas Park City, a part of the House of Delegates 13th District.
The audit found that Republican Otto Wachsmann was the winner of the 75th District election and Democrat Danica Roem was the winner of the 13th District election. Officials ran the audit from Jan. 3 to 20 and confirmed these results with "over 99% confidence."
“Once again, Virginia’s election administrators have successfully demonstrated their experience and dedication to ensuring secure and reliable election results by using the audit process,” ELECT Commissioner Christopher Piper said in a news release.
ELECT said the audit report will be available to the public in March.
Youngkin to make changes to election office
The audit results came a few days after Gov. Glenn Youngkin indicated he would replace Piper once his term ends in July.
In a recent interview with conservative radio host John Fredericks, Youngkin said the department needs to be "non-political and independent" and wants to make sure the next leader is "not trying to be political."
Youngkin also signaled support for changing voting laws in Virginia, including adding a photo ID requirement and updating voter rolls monthly.
Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly have proposed bills that would change voting laws, including reinstating a requirement of an “excuse” to vote absentee, limiting absentee voting to a week or two weeks before Election Day, and eliminating ballot drop-off boxes.