- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 7, 2021

Former President Donald Trump signaled approval of Virginia GOP gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin’s support for an audit on voting machines in the state. 

Mr. Trump, who contends that fraud deprived him of a second term in the 2020 presidential election, sent out a release this week from his Save America political action committee, sharing an article that revealed the move, reportedly made by the Republican challenger at a private meeting. 

“I think we need to make sure that people trust these voting machines,” Mr. Youngkin said at an event this week, according to a video reviewed by Politico.

Mr. Youngkin cited his business background, comparing election audits to the annual accounting reviews private businesses must undergo.

“I grew up in a world where you have an audit every year, in businesses you have an audit,” Mr. Youngkin said. “So, let’s just audit the voting machines, publish it, so everybody can see it.”

Manuel Bonder, spokesman for the Virginia Democratic Party, tied Mr. Youngkin to Mr. Trump‘s unproven election fraud claims.

“Glenn Youngkin is calling for audits of Virginia’s voting machines for the same reason he based his entire campaign on his ‘election integrity task force’ –– this is who he is. Youngkin thinks this is ‘the most important issue’ because his top priority is bringing Donald Trump’s agenda to Virginia,” Mr. Bonder said in a statement.

The Youngkin campaign backed their candidate’s stance, asserting that he has been consistent on his proposals regarding election integrity. Democratic rival Terry McAuliffe has tried to use the issue to accuse Mr. Youngkin of backing Mr. Trump‘s calls to re-litigate the November 2020 vote.

Mr. Youngkin has called for cleaning up state voter rolls and voter ID in his campaign but has not gone as far as to embrace Mr. Trump’s claims that mass voter fraud caused his loss in the 2020 election. Shortly after clinching the GOP nomination, he said publicly he believed Democrat Joe Biden had legitimately won the election. 

In an interview last month, Mr. Trump warned Mr. Youngkin that walking a fine line on his support for him may cost him the election.

“The only guys that win are the guys that embrace the [Make America Great Again] movement,” Mr. Trump said on the John Fredericks Radio show.

With Election Day less than a month away, polls have shown Mr. Youngkin closing the gap on Mr. McAuliffe, a former governor seeking a second four-year term in Richmond.

An Emerson College/Nexstar Media poll from this week showed Mr. McAuliffe with 49%, just one percentage point above Mr. Youngkin’s 48%.

The poll was conducted between Oct. 1-3, surveying 620 likely Virginia voters and carried an error margin of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

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