- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - More than a dozen people voted in both Fairfax County and in localities in Maryland during the 2012 general election. In some cases, individuals voted in both jurisdictions as far back as 2004, a county election official said.

Fairfax County election officials confirmed the names of 17 people who voted in both states by cross-referencing the 700,000 registered voters on the county’s rolls with those in Maryland, Brian W. Schoeneman, secretary of the Fairfax County Electoral Board, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1ooN13N).

The Virginia Voters Alliance had identified the individuals.

“Whether or not this had impact on any individual election - it probably didn’t,” Schoeneman said. “But this type of fraud appears to be happening, and if we don’t do anything, it will happen again. This might just be the tip of the iceberg.”

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring’s office is reviewing evidence of alleged voter fraud in the county, spokesman Michael Kelly told the newspaper.

The Fairfax County board also has referred the allegation to the Fairfax County commonwealth’s attorney and the U.S. Department of Justice for further investigation.

Election officials have found dual voter registration in other localities but they have not yet determined whether these individuals voted in both locations, Charles E. Judd, chairman of the State Board of Elections, told the newspaper.

If voter fraud allegations are proven true, they could undermine the electoral process’ integrity, Republican state lawmakers said in a joint statement. The lawmakers included Speaker of the House William J. Howell, of Stafford, and Majority Leader M. Kirk Cox, of Colonial Heights.

Robert Dempsey, executive director of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said that the electoral process needs to be transparent and people need to be confident with it.

“We take these allegations very seriously and we support any initiative that assures our elections are conducted in an open, transparent and ethical manner,” he said.

Hope Amezquita, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, said the allegations have not yet been substantiated by any law enforcement agency.

“It is often the case that duplicative voter registrations exist when voters move out of state, and that bureaucratic errors often occur in record keeping and in databases - and that may be the case here,” Amezquita said.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, https://www.timesdispatch.com

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