October 6, 2022


CONTACT: press@responsivegoverning.org
October 6, 2022

CHICAGO, IL — Today, executive director of the Institute for Responsive Government, Sam Oliker-Friedland, released the following statement regarding the network glitches that caused a delay in processing Voter Registration records from Virginia voters:

“It’s critical for a responsive government to catch errors like this before they become a crisis. Effective monitoring and data reporting systems for essential functions like voter registration, and transparent data-sharing across agencies and with the public is critical. Responsive government is also about building resilience (and corresponding resources) into government offices to be able to respond to problems like this as they arise. 

“We can and must do better in creating a responsive government that provides excellent customer service while also making sure that secure systems set up citizens to participate in safe, efficient elections.”

With over 100,000 voter registration applications affected in the glitch, this may mean challenges for many eligible voters in Virginia. Eligible voters will see delays in receiving election mail about their new congressional and legislative districts and polling locations. There will be significant increases to workloads for local election officials who are already working hard to ensure last minute preparations for the elections are made.

IRG today points to two simple policy recommendations that could have saved Virginia voters and election workers from this crisis and can be implemented in time to avoid this in 2024:

  • Congress should follow the Elections Infrastructure Initiative’s recommendation for $20 billion in federal funding for local election offices over 10 years. This would provide election officials across the country, like those in VA, with critical funding to add additional staff and temporary workers necessary to work through backlogs swiftly.
  • IRG recommends for states like Virginia to implement a simple data-reporting dashboard, like the one used in Colorado. A system like this likely would have caught this issue before the busiest time in an election official’s year.

For anyone in Virginia who feels they may be impacted, you can look up your registration status at https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation.