FINCASTLE, Va. – Some Virginia voters doubted if their votes had been counted on Election Day after a viral, but misleading, social media post.
The post claimed some votes were ignored by the Commonwealth based on a section of the Virginia Department of Elections' voter information page. However, the Department of Elections and local election directors debunked the claim.
“We work very hard to ensure the integrity of the elections," said Botetourt County Registrar Traci Clark. "We take this very seriously. When we get these kinds of calls, we get edgy because we take it personal.”
Clark wrote a lengthy Facebook post on the Botetourt County Office of Elections account, in which she explained the process behind counting votes in Virginia. Clark explained the “My Ballot” section is only active before the polls close, and voter history only updates once the local precinct finishes canvassing.
“That’s where they certify the results," Clark said. “Different offices across the state are different sizes and have different numbers of staff, which means they move at different paces.”
The Virginia Department of Elections also used social media to counter the claims about the ballots.
Clark hopes voters understand there is no need to worry about a ballot once it is in the system.
“We’ve probably been working anywhere from 10 to 16 hour days at the election office," Clark said. ”The comments on the Facebook post, you could tell that most people were reading and understanding it.”