As a lady in a purple blazer lined as much as vote on the primary day of early voting in Chesterfield County, one election employee pushed one other and stated, “She’s the boss.”
It took lower than 10 minutes for Susan Beals, Virginia’s new election commissioner, to vote early in Chesterfield, the Richmond-area suburb, the place she served as a member of the native electoral board earlier than Gov. Glenn Youngkin compelled her to vote. appoints to the very best electoral workplace within the state.
There was no drawback as a result of she confirmed her ID card, had a poll made in entrance of her by one of many on-demand poll printers many cities and counties are embracing early voting, filling it out, and feeding it right into a scanner as one of many first midterm votes solid in its residence county.
As a big variety of her fellow Republicans proceed to harbor doubts concerning the 2020 election, Beals, a 47-year-old former GOP aide, stated in an interview that she is assured within the election course of she oversees. on the state stage for the primary time.
“We’ve a dependable system in Virginia,” Beals stated. “We will at all times make course of enhancements, and that is one thing I am dedicated to.”
Beals stated “individuals are entitled to have questions” concerning the course of, however the solutions are available.
“Discover somebody who is aware of the reply,” she stated. “Search for an election official and ask them how the method works. As a result of most of them can be very blissful to inform you.
Beals, who served on Chesterfield’s Electoral Board for a number of years earlier than Youngkin picked her in March to steer the state company, has had different massive enterprise on her plate that does not contain precise voting, just like the resumption of an ongoing data know-how mission to exchange the state’s electoral system. She can also be getting ready an outreach marketing campaign to tell voters of the impacts of redistricting, an initiative that may contain round 6 million voter notices anticipated to hit mailboxes early this week.
However the begin of the 45-day early voting window on Friday, in a yr when Virginia could have no less than two hotly contested congressional races on the poll, will solid a brand new highlight on how Youngkin’s administration will deal with election administration work.
Beals praised the hundreds of Virginia election officers who go to work serving to individuals vote, calling them “patriotic Individuals” who’re “decided to make democracy work.” Requested if she thinks those that sow mistrust within the election make it more durable to do that job, Beals stated “there’s a variety of election scrutiny happening proper now.”
“However all I’ve seen from election officers is that they conduct themselves in an expert method,” she stated. “I’ve confidence in our election staff and their dedication to their occupation and their dedication to their communities.”
When requested how she felt electoral integrity cell Lawyer Normal Jason Miyares lately introduced, which drew backlash from Democrats who say it fuels the stolen election conspiracy concept, Beals known as it fairly routine.
“For me, it is a regular relationship that we’ve,” she stated. “They provide recommendation. If there’s something that must be investigated, our board will vote to present it to the GA and ask them to research.
Virginia Republicans didn’t repeal or cut back electoral reforms Democrats handed two years in the past once they had full political management, that means the 45-day early voting window and the regulation making photograph ID non-obligatory will nonetheless be in place for mi – course of Virginia.
The principle change to state electoral coverage this yr is identical day registrationa coverage handed by Democrats in 2020 with a delayed efficient date of October 2022. The brand new coverage permits individuals to proceed to register and vote provisionally after the top of the common voter registration interval October 17.
Beals stated she does not encourage potential voters to place issues off to benefit from this new regulation as a result of registering prematurely stays the best voting expertise. Anybody who casts a provisional poll is not going to move it via the scanners like different voters do, she stated, as a result of election officers need to take the time to analysis whether or not the individual is a legitimate voter or not.
“I’d a lot somewhat that anybody who needs to vote on this election attempt to register earlier than October 17,” Beals stated. “As a result of we wish you to vote on a daily poll.”
Youngkin talks concerning the Texas election
As early voting started, the person who employed Beals took the stage on the Austin Texas Tribune Pageant, the place the subject of Republican election denial was introduced up as Youngkin sat down for an interview on the political occasion excessive stage.
Washington Examiner political correspondent David M. Drucker requested Youngkin about his deliberate marketing campaign stops for Republican candidates like Kari Lake, the GOP nominee for Arizona governor who falsely insists former President Donald Trump received in 2020.
“Are you comfy supporting Republicans who’ve points or are difficult the end result of the final election?” Drucker requested.
“I’m comfy supporting Republican candidates. And we do not agree on all the things,” Youngkin replied. “I stated I strongly imagine Joe Biden was elected president.”
Nearer to residence, Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, who has been spreading 2020 conspiracy theories with out producing proof of widespread Virginia election fraud, known as on Youngkin to droop use of all “computer systems poll” in Virginia and hand- counting all of the ballots.
There isn’t a indication that the Youngkin administration is taking his suggestion critically, and the state typically avoids making main adjustments simply as elections start.
Paper ballots are used all through Virginia after the state stopped utilizing touchscreen voting machines in 2017 because of safety considerations.
Beals, who as soon as labored as an assistant to Chase, known as paper ballots “one of many most secure methods to vote” and stated she had no drawback with the state persevering with to vote. Use scanners whose accuracy is frequently examined.
“It is a counting machine,” Beals stated. “It isn’t a voting machine. It is a machine that counts ballots.
As Beals was ready for espresso at a Starbucks close to the Chesterfield polling station, she acquired a textual content from her predecessor. Former Election Commissioner Chris Piper, whom Youngkin opted out of, wished him nicely initially of his first election.
“You might have this!” Piper stated.