Virginia’s Constitution Prohibits Suspension of Laws, Lawyer Says
Fairfax County, Virginia, officials are violating election law two weeks before the off-year gubernatorial election, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.
Jay Christian Adams, president and general counsel to the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), representing the Virginia Institute for Public Policy (VIPP), said, “We write the election rules in advance so that everyone knows what they are and every Somebody thinks it’s fair.” in the lawsuit, told Granthshala News on Wednesday.
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“When you start suspending rules in some counties, you run the risk that people don’t accept the consequences,” warned Adams. “You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game, and that’s what Fairfax is doing.”
According to Virginia election law, voters must include the last four digits of their Social Security number when filling out an absentee ballot application. Voters may leave the numbers in person when filling out an absentee ballot application at the election office, but they must include the numbers when sending the application by mail.
Adams told Granthshala News, “The law says you have to collect this information because it protects the right to vote. It protects the way you vote because it ensures that someone’s ballot is passed to someone else.” do not receive.”
Grievance, filed Tuesday, cites the testimony of Christine Brim, a registered voter. Brim testified that Stephen M. Hunt, Chairman of the Fairfax County Election Board, confirmed to him via email that the Fairfax County General Registrar, Scott O. Konopasek had established a process for approving “absent ballot applications on which the applicant has not provided the last four digits of his or her Social Security number.”
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Adams told Granthshala News that the Elections Office would accept the policy in court.
While election officials suspended laws in states across the country ahead of the 2020 presidential election in the name of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia’s constitution explicitly forbids such a practice, Adams said. he said.
“There is an anti-suspension clause in the Constitution of Virginia. It was written by one of the founding fathers, George Mason, and it said that bureaucrats in the executive branch could not ignore the law,” the lawyer said. “They can’t suspend the law. They have to obey the law. In Virginia it’s the rule of law, not men.”
The clause in question states that “all power to suspend laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without the consent of the representatives of the people, is prejudicial to their rights, and should not be exercised.”
Adams Said PILF won a case In 2020 “on this exact same constitutional provision,” when the Virginia Board of Elections was suspending the law by allowing ballots to arrive late without a postmark.
The Fairfax County Board of Elections did not respond to a request for comment from Granthshala News by the time of publication.