Virginia House of Delegates Speaker-designee Kirk Cox released the following statement Wednesday, after the State Board of Elections refused to meet to certify election results in House Districts 28 and 88.
“The State Board of Elections exists to be an independent arbiter of our elections, but after the last three days no one could be faulted for questioning the independence of a Board that seems to be working in lockstep with legal counsel for the Democratic Party. Twice now the Board has not just failed to carry out its statutory duty, but has actively delayed in order to allow Democrats to file a third lawsuit.
“This latest lawsuit is just as unnecessary, counterproductive and unmerited as the last two, both of which were promptly dismissed–one in Federal court and one in State court. The Code of Virginia sets out a clear process for handling questions about elections, but that process can not begin until the Board certifies the results, a ministerial function that does not require them to exercise any independent judgment. Once the Board has certified, candidates may request a recount or file a contest, or both. Those clear, statutory processes, not a Federal court, are the proper forum for resolving any issues with a Virginia election. The intentional delays and costly litigation only serve to delay the House and its duly-elected members, including Delegate-elect Mark Cole and Delegate-elect Bob Thomas, from preparing to govern and serve their constituents.
“We are preparing a suit to request the Supreme Court of Virginia issue a Writ of Mandamus directing the Board to carry out its duty pursuant to state law. If the Board does not certify the elections on Monday, we will file our suit.
“We are committed to open, fair and honest elections in which all votes lawfully cast by eligible voters are counted. We are equally committed to preserving the integrity of our elections, protecting the constitutional rights of voters, and upholding the rule of law.”