Media release from the office of Speaker-designee Kirk Cox on November 20, 2017
Statement of Speaker-designee Cox on SBE decision to delay certification in House Districts 28 and 88
Virginia House of Delegates Speaker-designee Kirk Cox released the following statement Monday after the State Board of Elections delayed certification of the election results in House Districts 28 and 88.
The State Board of Elections acted beyond its authority today and is statutorily obligated to certify the results as sent to them by the local electoral boards. Unfortunately, Democrats seem intent on pursuing unnecessary and costly litigation that only serves to delay those who need to prepare to govern.
This error, if it occurred, will not change the outcome of the race in House District 28. As they did with absentee ballots and the question of split precincts, Democrats are not being forthcoming with the facts. Delegate-elect Bob Thomas won by 82 votes. Each and every one of the 83 registered voters in question, if they did in fact vote in the wrong district, would have to have participated in this election, voted in the wrong district, and voted for Delegate-elect Thomas’ opponent in order to change the outcome, all of which are unlikely. The Department of Elections knows right now how many of these registrants actually cast ballots and they should make that information available right away. Doing so will reveal that Bob Thomas is the rightful winner of this election, under any scenario.
The State Board acted beyond its statutory authority by delaying certification. The Board is statutorily obligated pursuant to § 24.2-679 of the Code of Virginia to certify the results based on the abstract of votes received from the local electoral boards in Virginia’s cities and counties and to issue certificates of election to the winners determined from those abstracts.
Virginia’s clear election statutes set the only remedy for anyone who disagrees with the result of the certification—filing a recount or an election contest. These are the appropriate methods to address any concerns. Instead of following the appropriate legal path, the Democratic Party appears intent on filing a third lawsuit in this race and has co-opted the State Board of Elections to stall for time to allow them to do so.
The Board should do its duty and immediately certify the elections, consistent with the Code. Then the Democrats can follow the legal path, clearly set out in the Code of Virginia, rather than continuing their attempts to delay and dissemble by filing and losing frivolous lawsuits in state and Federal courts.