HARRISONBURG, Va. A federal judge ruled against a request from the Virginia Democratic party. The group wanted the State Board of Elections to reinstate nearly 40,000 recently purged voters.
The State Board of Elections sent registrars across the commonwealth lists of voters who may not be eligible to vote in Virginia.
The Democratic party claimed many could be wrongfully purged from the polls due to errors in the list and different standards used in each county.
WHSV checked with registrars in our area about the number of voters they took off from the voter rolls.
In Harrisonburg, 338 people are no longer registered. In Rockingham County, 177 voters will not be able to vote this November. In Augusta County, 268 people have been removed from the list and 95 people in Waynesboro.
Harrisonburg City council member Richard Baugh said it is important that everyone who can vote is allowed to do it.
"It is no small thing when you say you are going to take people's names off of the voter roles when it is not entirely clear justification for doing that," said Baugh.
While he was campaigning for the Democratic ticket, he said he understands the State Board of Election's decision to purge voters registered in other states. However, he questions the timing of this purge and the process.
"You have electoral boards across the state, including some fairly heavily republican jurisdictions that have gone out of their way to say they see mistakes on this, they see people being purged that clearly shouldn't be," said Baugh.
He said he leaves the determination of this case to any regulatory system or the courts.
Mac Nichols, Harrisonburg's Republican Committee Chairman, said he understands the concerns from the Democratic party. This group claimed the list used to purge voters had errors and each county used different standards.
"They definitely have the right to contest the actions by the State Board of Elections. In the court action, they had the burden to show evidence that the state acted inappropriately," said Nichols.
The judge ruled the state conducted the purge uniformly and that those wrongly purged could cast a provisional ballot.
Members of both parties agree on one thing.
"The state definitely has an interest that the people who participate in the state elections are eligible voters," said Nichols.
Both of them said they do not expect the purge to deter people from going to the polls.
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