VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Democrats are asking the State Board of Elections to remove Independent candidate Shaun Brown from the ballot in the second congressional district.
An attorney for the Virginia Democrats, Mark Elias, sent a letter to the State Board of Elections and the Virginia Department of Elections. “I write to request that you take immediate action reversing the decision to certify Ms. Brown’s candidacy,” the letter reads. In addition, Elias also wrote a letter to Attorney General Mark Herring, calling on his office to investigate allegations of fraud.
Democrats say they have received 17 affidavits from people who say they or their family members never signed the petition to help get Brown on the ballot.
As News 3 has been reporting, Congressman Scott Taylor’s staff collected signatures to help put Brown on the ballot. The effort is seen as an attempt to dilute the Democratic vote between Brown and Democrat Elaine Luria during the November election. This week several of the signatures have come into question, including one of a man who died two months before the petition says he signed it. A special prosecutor has been appointed to see if Taylor’s staff did anything illegal.
In addition, Democrats say Brown submitted 2,512 signatures to get on the ballot, but Democrats say their review found more than 1,600 should be declared invalid. Brown needed 1,000 to get on the ballot, so deducting that many from her total would make her ineligible. Democrats say if no action is taken by Friday at noon they plan to file a lawsuit.
Brown has maintained she didn’t know about Taylor’s team’s efforts. “No one but the people should chose [sic] who the people are. That’s democracy. It’s about the fight and leveling the playing field for everyone,” she said in a statement on Thursday.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring gave a statement Thursday afternoon saying, “These are very serious allegations that are already under investigation by a court-appointed special prosecutor. We have been in touch with both the special prosecutor and the Department of Elections and will continue to work with them as appropriate while the investigation and information gathering process continues.”
Congressman Taylor responded to the developments on Twitter:
The Department of Elections has no comment at this time due to an ongoing investigation.