Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Urge Changes to the SCC's Election Results Tabulation Method

April 21, 2021

'To ensure that all voters have confidence in the outcome, steps must be taken to guarantee the process is credible, transparent and auditable'

RICHMOND, VA. — Republican candidates for Governor Amanda Chase, Kirk Cox, and Glenn Youngkin today urged the State Central Committee to make changes to the current method for counting ballots, tabulating delegate votes, and calculating the final weighted results of the May 8 convention.

"Each of us are vying for the nomination, and while we are all competitors in that contest, we are writing to you now to express our shared resolve that all elections must be free, fair, and transparent," the candidates said."The Republican Party—the party of election integrity—must lead by example as it prepares to conduct its May 8 nominating convention. Unfortunately, the method currently being considered by the State Central Committee to count the ballots, tabulate the delegate votes, and calculate the final weighted results of our convention does not meet this standard."

The letter to Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson and members of the Rules Committee makes specific requests regarding ballot chain of custody, vote counting, and independent experts and vendors to ensure that all voters have confidence in the outcome, and to guarantee the process is credible, transparent and auditable.

"We believe that you share in our commitment to free, fair, transparent, and honest elections. Therefore, we urge you to undertake these steps to guarantee confidence in this convention process. We want to reiterate our appreciation and respect for all you do for our party in Virginia," Chase, Cox, and Youngkin concluded.

The full letter may be found below and here.

Chairman Anderson and Members of the Rules Committee:

Thank you all for your hard work ahead of the upcoming Republican convention on May 8th. We appreciate your service to our party and our Commonwealth.

Each of us are vying for the nomination, and while we are all competitors in that contest, we are writing to you now to express our shared resolve that all elections must be free, fair, and transparent. The Republican Party—the party of election integrity—must lead by example as it prepares to conduct its May 8 nominating convention.

Unfortunately, the method currently being considered by the State Central Committee to count the ballots, tabulate the delegate votes, and calculate the final weighted results of our convention does not meet this standard. We would like to express our strong but respectful objection to the current method, and encourage State Central to instead select a fair, open, and transparent process, potentially run by an independent third party, that ensures the integrity of our convention and confidence in the outcome.

The current method for counting, tabulating, and calculating the votes being recommended by the Rules Committee utilizes untested and unproven software that creates uncertainty, lacks openness and transparency, and is inconsistent with our calls as a party for safe and secure elections.

The software solution currently being recommended is unproven, and there is still a significant amount of confusion over how it works, whether it is secure, and whether it can handle the scale of the expected turnout on May 8.

This method also lacks openness and transparency. Utilizing software takes away oversight from campaign observers and hides the very important process of counting the ballots and tabulating the final weighted results. We cannot substitute expediency for an open and transparent process that provides confidence in the outcome.

And finally, we believe the use of such a software is inconsistent with our party's calls for safe and secure elections in which all people can be confident.

While we appreciate the work that has gone into the process, and do not wish to publicly cast dispersions on anyone involved, we believe it would be better for the party to pursue an alternative method. To that end, we make the following suggestions.

To ensure that all voters have confidence in the outcome, steps must be taken to guarantee the process is credible, transparent and auditable. To this end, we are requesting that the May 8 convention meet three basic standards of election integrity set forth below:

1) Ballot Chain of Custody Integrity. Adopt procedures that maintain ballot integrity by preserving a proper chain of custody surrounding the counting procedures. This can only be done by ensuring that ballots are counted at the polling locations or within the Congressional Districts in which they were cast. If the latter, and ballots are moved, they must be sealed, documented, and witnessed by observers from each campaign prior to transport and upon arrival at the counting location.

2) Vote Counting Integrity. Adopt an accurate, secure, and transparent vote counting method with adequate safeguards that permit verification of the results. The simplest way to do this is through the use of ballot scanners or a carefully organized and consistently monitored hand count. While a hand count may be slower, it will ultimately be more secure and verifiable – both of which will produce confidence in the outcome. Under no circumstances would the proposed “Burkhardt Method” meet this standard.

3) Independent Expert & Vendors – Consider hiring outside vendors that have the expertise required to manage the complex ranked choice vote counting process that incorporates the county weighting. Independent third parties would ensure an organized effort to count the ballots, tabulate the delegate votes, and calculate the final weighted results, and also provide an auditable result that could be verified to guarantee the integrity of our elections. Without an independent party to ensure an auditable result, an unorganized effort to count without proper support could yield catastrophic results – and results that one or more participants would have plausible reasons to call into doubt.

We believe that you share in our commitment to free, fair, transparent, and honest elections. Therefore, we urge you to undertake these steps guarantee confidence in this convention process. We want to reiterate our appreciation and respect for all you do for our party in Virginia. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of these important requests.

Regards,

Glenn Youngkin

Kirk Cox

Amanda Chase

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