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Thousands of VA Voters May Have Voted In Wrong House District. What About Your State?

by Countable | 3.9.18

What’s the story?

A recent statewide analysis of Virginia voter's district assignments conducted by the Washington Post found about 6,000 voters could have voted in the wrong state legislature district, opening the door to disputes of close election results. Given average turnout across the state, as many as 2,800 votes may have been cast in the wrong race in 2017.

No similar study has been done for other states, so there is no knowing how prevalent the problem is nationwide.

How did this even happen, though?

The issue in Virginia appears to trace back to the last round of redistricting in 2010, which means the errors have existed for the last three election cycles. When district lines are redrawn local registrars have to manually assign voters to the correct districts, which sometimes split from one side of a block to another. And what to do with a cul-de-sac? They don’t even have sides!

"It’s about as manual a process as you can use and still be using a computer," stated Linda Lindberg, elections director and registrar in Arlington County to the Post.

Researchers at the University of Florida, Michael McDonald and Brian Amos, told the Post such errors are probably happening everywhere, given budget issues restricting registrars' access to resources, and the imperfections of mapping, especially in rural areas.

Virginia voters can confirm the accuracy of their district assignments by checking the Virginia Board of Elections website to see what their assignment should be, then checking their street address to find their assigned House district on the Virginia Assembly website. Any inconsistencies should be immediately reported to their local registrar.

For voters in other states who are curious to see if there are errors with their registration, they can check their voting assignments at My Reps, then search online for their state’s Board of Elections maps to do the same comparison.

What do you think?

Are you a Virginia voter who was assigned to the wrong district? Are you in another state and have you checked your district assignments? How hard was it to find the information? Should every state be required to initiate this sort of third party check following a redistricting effort?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: OneVirginia2021.org)*

Countable

Written by Countable

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(23)
  • Donna
    01/18/2018
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    If elected officials stopped screwing with district lines for the single purpose of gerrymandering, THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN. Watch for the upcoming complaint from the tweeter in chief railing against voter fraud. That is if he has enough time today in between his insults against Democrats and his lies to the rest of us.

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  • Anne
    01/18/2018
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    This is not voter fraud!! This is the result of gerrymandering districts and the state’s inability to fix the problems that were pointed out over the past six years. We need bipartisan redistricting NOW!

    Like (29)
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  • HockeyGuy
    01/18/2018
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    Gerrymandering at work! Republican processes are to lie, cheat, and steal. The end justifies the means!

    Like (16)
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  • Joe
    01/18/2018
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    Now are all these districts that are flipping from republican to democrat are going to be scrutinized and being told that their vote might’ve been cast in the wrong district? Sounds like people at the state level GOP are feeling hurt because people are actually voting in large numbers and even though the voting lines are heavily gerrymandering happening it’s still not helping them!! Some of the comments I’ll talking about voter fraud yet the very people are not addressing gerrymandering that’s happening throughout all the red state including Virginia. The election was fair and the GOP have to realize you’re going to lose more and more seat across the country because of their stance they have taken in specially backing up Trump

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  • Thelma
    01/18/2018
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    Rob Portman and Brad Wenstrup: I want my state taxes to pay for a modernization of our voting system, as well as funds for increasing security of our voting system, today, now, not months from now.

    Like (11)
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  • Diane
    01/18/2018
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    I had Chaffez as my house rep. as a result of extreme gerrymandering. This diluted urban by a long corridor that included Salt Lake County and snaked it’s way south for hundreds of miles to guarantee that the blues in this deep red state had no chance of being heard. Yet Mia love still thinks I am in her district. I am for a non political board responsible for drawing boundaries.

    Like (9)
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  • Nelson
    01/18/2018
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    Our voting system needs to be improved.

    Like (7)
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  • Karan
    01/18/2018
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    We need stricter voter ID laws to prevent this kind of voter fraud

    Like (4)
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  • Marc
    01/18/2018
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    This sounds like a problem that is baked into the redistricting and local and state process of ensuring the proper addresses are in the correct precinct. I would think that no purpose is served in going back on elections to try to guess the adjusted outcome if any. BUT, the federal government along with state governments should fund the federal election commission with enough funds to support the whole election system in the United States of America. After all, the election systems throughout the entire country are not treated with respect and not supported in their mission. Just look at the inept and failed response of the federal government in the Russian interference over a friggen year ago. There is no plan, no discussion and no funding for local governments to react. This is a presidential failure and a congressional failure. Shame in them

    Like (4)
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  • Diggingdi
    01/19/2018
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    Just stop the gerrymandering and leave district lines alone. So that every vote counts!!’

    Like (3)
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  • Linda
    01/18/2018
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    Our whole voting system needs to be overhauled and made fair.

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  • Jesse
    01/18/2018
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    our voting system need some work done

    Like (2)
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  • Regina
    01/19/2018
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    Does it make too much sense just to draw a block grid across each county and whoever falls into that grid votes a specific place forever? END GERRYMANDERING

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  • Kim vang thi
    10/25/2018
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    PENNSYLVANIA VoTe FITZPATRICK

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  • Stacy
    01/20/2018
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    I’m a Virginia resident and was directly affected by this mess. I’m still too angry about it to comment more. But let’s just say I’m furious about the gerrymandering and the illegitimate wins by Republicans in my district (House District #28) and also in HD #94 where Shelly Simonds was totally robbed! 😡

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  • keithistre
    01/30/2018
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    Need to spend as much attention on our elections as we do our military. Both spending and modernization. Voting is just as important as safety. The military is useless without fair and adequate elections because its control would not be legitimate.

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  • Bluewitsend
    01/19/2018
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    Gerrymandering has caused too much confusion and unfairness in all of our elections. Our country should be the gold standard of election fairness and openness. We have let politicians undermine our elections and abuse their power to manipulate. Pay attention people. This is on us for allowing politicians to get away with sneaky policy.

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  • APavlovska
    01/19/2018
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    You got to be kidding...

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  • Bluewitsend
    01/19/2018
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    Stop the gerrymandering!

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  • Todd
    01/19/2018
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    For those of you that are interested in fixing our voting districts, please check out Virginia2021.org They were referenced in the credit for the map. They are doing great stuff and can use your support.

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