FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2021
Delegate Jones Proposes Voter Protection & Election Integrity Unit for Office of Attorney General
Delegate Jay Jones today released a proposal that would establish a Voter Protection and Election Integrity Unit on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office. The Unit will proactively work to defend Virginians’ right to vote, investigate instances of disenfranchisement, and educate at risk communities of their rights to the ballot box. Delegate Jones released the following statement around the proposal:
“At long last, Virginia is making historic progress toward ensuring that the ability of our citizens to fulfill their civic duty and cast a ballot for the values and ideals of their choice becomes a true right to vote. Yet this progress will mean little if we don’t ensure that this ability is protected by our state government.
“Every single eligible Virginian should be able to register to vote and cast their ballot in each election without undue roadblocks, harassment, pressure or obstruction. That is why, as Attorney General, I will be proud to create Virginia’s very first dedicated Voter Protection and Election Integrity Unit within my new Civil Rights Division, staffed with experienced experts well versed in defending the right to vote and protecting the sanctity of our elections.
“The right to vote should be one of our most sacred civic ideals. But too often in our history, that right has only been treated as sacred for some. This new Voter Protection and Election Integrity Unit will be an important step on the path toward making that right sacred for all, while empowering all of our communities to make their voice heard in our democratic process.”
The Voter Protection and Election Integrity Unit will work closely with the Virginia Department of Elections to investigate complaints of improper denial of registration or improper election administration and ensure resolution in accordance with Virginia law. It will operate a hot line and accept written complaints where voter harassment or intimidation can be reported, and will be empowered to take legal action to prevent such behavior. It will proactively communicate with communities in which voter suppression is common to ensure that eligible voters know their rights and what actions to take if those rights are infringed. And it will be prepared to take legal action to defend Virginia’s election processes against any attempts to improperly make it harder to vote that may arise.