Del. Levine Nabs Potential Voting Machine Loophole

Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria) of the Virginia House of Delegates reported his detection of a loophole in an election machine audit bill introduced in the just-adjourned Richmond session that could have made upcoming elections in the state vulnerable. He reported that Republican Del. Tim Hugo introduced a bill “that at first blush I wanted to support. It set up a workgroup to find the best ways to audit our election machines to ensure accuracy. The bill flew through subcommittee and committee uncontested and came uncontested to us on the floor. But then I read the bill, and I wondered why the workgroup was set to come up with its findings on Dec. 1, 2019, just after the November 2019 elections. So I read further, and in one line that required me to go to the law books, I realized the bill repealed our existing laws on auditing ballot-counting machines while the workgroup was studying the issue, leaving us with nothing in its place. The bill was set to become law before anyone noticed that the bill does exactly the opposite of what it proclaims to do!” He said when he called out the problem on the House floor, the it caused half the Democrats in the chamber who’d previously supported it to vote “No.” That, and new fears of a governor’s veto caused the withdrawal of the bill altogether.