October 6, 2021 News & Press Releases

What People Are Saying About Glenn Youngkin Attempting to Undermine the Election Results

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Richmond, VA — Glenn Youngkin is once again peddling Donald Trump’s dangerous far-right conspiracy theories this week after he called for an “audit” of election machines in Virginia and across the country to dispute the 2020 election results on Tuesday. 

Since Youngkin launched his campaign with an “election integrity task force,” he has continued to be all-in on Trump’s far-right conspiracy theories that erode our democratic processes and put lives at risk. Last week, Glenn refused to say whether or not he would have voted to certify the election results on January 6.

Youngkin has spent months lying about the 2020 election. This summer, Youngkin headlined an insurrectionist-sponsored “election integrity” rally after he suggested that the disgraced former president could be reinstated into office.

See below for a recap of Glenn’s latest foray into the far-right’s election conspiracy theories. 

Politico: Youngkin continues call for ‘audit’ of election machines in Virginia

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin continues to call for an “audit” of the voting machines in his state, an echo of the Republican push to investigate 2020 election results around the country following former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of fraud.

“I think we need to make sure that people trust these voting machines,” Youngkin said at a Monday event hosted by a Richmond civics group, according to a video reviewed by POLITICO. “I grew up in a world where you have an audit every year, in businesses you have an audit. So let's just audit the voting machines, publish it so everybody can see it.”

Virginia’s state elections department has already conducted a post-election audit, running a statewide “risk-limiting audit” for the first time after the last election. The process tests the accuracy of voting machines and has been increasingly embraced by election security professionals as a safety measure to guarantee accurate vote counts. The Virginia audit confirmed the 2020 results in the state.

Youngkin’s call for auditing voting machines in Virginia comes amid Republican efforts in other states to launch their own reviews of the 2020 election. [...]

Unlike Virginia’s risk-limiting audit, many election officials and security experts have rejected the GOP’s recently completed review in Arizona, as well as copycat efforts in other states, as unprofessional endeavors rooted in conspiracy theories. While Youngkin has often alluded to the so-called “election integrity” movement inspired by Trump’s lies, he has rejected the mythology that Biden was not legitimately elected. Democrats have spent the Virginia gubernatorial campaign, which recent polling has shown to be a close race, seeking to tie Youngkin to Trump, especially on the “election integrity” platform. 

The Washington Post: Opinion: Glenn Youngkin reminds Virginians: The GOP is out to delegitimize elections

Virginia’s Republican nominee for governor, Glenn Youngkin, makes no bones about his desire to discredit elections with vague allegations of fraud and unprovable suspicions about election machinery. He’s following the examples of former president Donald Trump, Republican candidate Larry Elder in California’s recall campaign and the fake election auditors in Arizona, who all trotted out the “big lie” of stolen elections (sometimes even before people voted!), driving the MAGA base into new bouts of rage and giving fodder to those who see violence as a permissible means of clinging to power.

“I think we need to make sure that people trust these voting machines,” Youngkin said ominously at a virtual forum with the Richmond Crusade for Voters on Monday. But Virginia already conducted a post-election audit, a fact Youngkin either did not know or was willing to conceal to fan the flames of doubt about the election. This heralds back to Youngkin’s first major policy proposal — one he has had to downplay lately — for an “election integrity task force.”

His opponent, former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe, bashed Youngkin earlier in the campaign and reminded voters that Youngkin’s effort to sow doubt about the election came straight from the Trump playbook. The Post reported, “Youngkin made the issue the centerpiece of his campaign as he pursued the GOP nomination this year, hoping to court Republicans who agreed with former president Donald Trump’s unfounded claim that Democrats stole the 2020 election.” In July, McAuliffe called on Youngkin to drop out of a GOP “election integrity” rally, which a former GOP congressman dubbed a "conspiracy-palooza.”

Now Youngkin is back at it, winking and nodding to the MAGA base while avoiding the direct allegation that the 2020 election was stolen. He is trying to keep his supporters fired up and Trump on board without tipping his hand to the general electorate by overtly embracing the election conspiracy theories. Should he lose, expect his base to jump on the election “integrity” bandwagon and carry the “big lie” banner to Richmond, wreaking havoc on Virginia politics just as Trump did on a national level. [...]

Youngkin apparently thinks the solution is to talk out of both sides of his mouth. McAuliffe’s success in exposing that sort of cynical deception will give some indication as to whether Republicans can pull the same scam in 2022 in the midterms and gubernatorial races.

The Washington Post: As Virginia election draws near, GOP’s Youngkin continues campaigning on 'election integrity’

In the final stretch of the race for Virginia governor, Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin continues to campaign on the issue of “election integrity,” — an issue that has galvanized the conservative base of the party.

On Monday evening, at a virtual “get to know the candidate” event hosted by the Richmond Crusade for Voters, a historic Black voting rights group, Youngkin called for an audit of voting machines to help voters feel confident in elections, despite saying at the first gubernatorial debate last month against Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe that he did not believe there had been significant voter fraud in Virginia elections.

“I think we need to make sure that people trust these voting machines. And I just think, I grew up in a world where you have an audit every year, in businesses you have an audit,” Youngkin said at the virtual forum, when asked about his thoughts on voting rights laws. “So let’s just audit the voting machines, publish it so everybody can see it.”

While Youngkin’s call for election audits is not new — it’s long been part of his platform on “election integrity” — the issue also illustrates the dilemma the first-time candidate faces as he runs in a state President Biden won by 10 points: a careful balancing act on polarizing issues to ensure he doesn’t alienate the conservative base still loyal to former president Donald Trump, but can still entice crucial independents. [...]

Last month, Youngkin tried to duck from a question about whether he would have certified Biden’s win if he was in Congress, before he ultimately answered that he would. Similarly, it took months — and securing the Republican nomination — before the former businessman publicly acknowledged the legitimacy of Biden’s election.

​​After he secured the nomination, Youngkin eased away from election integrity as a main platform point, but remained firm on his original promises. He attended an election integrity rally in August, and has repeatedly called for poll watchers and other measures to ensure a secure and fair election.

The Hill: ​​Youngkin calls for audit of voting machines in Virginia

Republican Virginia gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin called for an audit of the state's voting machines on Monday, saying the process should be carried out as a means of transparency. 

"I think we need to make sure that people trust these voting machines," Youngkin said during a virtual forum with the Richmond Crusade for Voters.

"And I just think, like, I grew up in a world where you have an audit every year, in businesses you have an audit. So let's just audit the voting machines, publish it so everybody can see it," he said. [...]

Youngkin called on voter rolls to be updated, citing a recent update in Newport News, Va., that resulted in 3,000 people being removed because they did not change their addresses and did not vote in the 2018 and 2020 federal elections in Virginia. [...]

Youngkin has leaned into the issue of election integrity since running in the state's GOP convention earlier this year, launching an "Election Integrity Taskforce," which he said is designed to establish legal voting standards in election processes.

The Bulwark: The Fraudit Forever War

In his cat-and-mouse game with Virginia voters, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Glenn Youngkin has a pattern. He keeps silent on questions about Donald Trump, democracy, or January 6 as long as possible. Then he winks and nods to the deeply conspiratorial far-right voters in his base. Then he walks back these gestures with mealy-mouthed half-answers. And then he blames the media. 

Rinse. Wash. Repeat. 

Except not this time. Now, Glenn Youngkin is getting out in front by telling voters that he wants to audit every election. Speaking to the Richmond Crusade for Voters via a Zoom call, Youngkin told voters:

It’s just to make sure that folks are who they say they are when they come vote, and people seem to trust that, that seems to be uniformly supported regardless of party. I think we need to make sure that people trust these voting machines. And I just think like, I grew up in a world where you have an audit every year, in businesses you have an audit. So let’s just audit the voting machines, publish it so everybody can see it. And I think when we press forward with this, we’re going to just make everybody comfortable that we in fact have an election system that everybody can trust and we’ll stop complaining about it and we can start moving forward. 

When Youngkin proposes annual audits to “make everybody feel comfortable,” the “everybody” is pretty much just his #StopTheSteal supporters who think that even Virginia’s election was stolen. Because Lord knows, Youngkin is loath to correct these people.

This is vice signaling to Republican base voters who, with the Arizona Fraudit debacle behind us, are now demanding audits everywhere. If Youngkin was a Good Republican, he might tell these voters that they’re nuts. That the 2020 election was legitimate and without any material fraud. Yet not only is Glenn Youngkin not saying any of that—he’s out stumping with the #StopTheStealers.

Remember Amanda Chase? She was the state senator who ran against Youngkin in the primary as the self-styled “Trump in heels.” Youngkin defeated her in an election which was highly irregular, yet does not seem to have aroused the passions of the Republican voter security crowd.

But whatever. The point is that Chase has endorsed Youngkin and he has attended multiple events with her—even posed for pictures with her. Because he can brook no enemies to the right. And Chase herself is deeply committed to more election audits. In fact, here she is in August using language almost identical to what Youngkin said on the Zoom:

It’s so imperative that we make 100% sure that voters have 100% confidence in our election process. . . . It’s important that we audit Virginia. It’s important we have a forensic audit, not the faux audit that the State Board of Elections did.[...]

Glenn Youngkin is not a dumb guy. He almost certainly knows that there are already audits.

Why he keeps stoking the Big Lie with a wink and nod is obvious: He needs Amanda Chase and her Republican supporters. And being honest about Virginia’s election system would put that support in jeopardy.

Virginia Scope: Youngkin wants to move the Dept. of Elections away from the governor’s office

The Republican nominee for governor Glenn Youngkin commented Monday about what he would want to see happen to the Department of Elections in Virginia if he became governor. He also called for audits on voting machines and expressed his support for requiring voter ID laws. [...]

Youngkin’s campaign did not immediately provide clarification to Virginia Scope as to how they would move the Dept. of Elections from the executive branch. 

During the event Monday, Youngkin also said he wants to conduct audits of voter machines across Virginia. “I think we need to make sure that people trust these voting machines,” Youngkin said. “And I just think like, I grew up in a world where you have an audit every year, in businesses you have an audit. So let’s just audit the voting machines, publish it so everybody can see it.”

Voter machines in Virginia are already audited after each election, however. “Va. Code §24.2-671.1 requires the Department of Elections to coordinate an annual post-election risk-limiting audit of ballot scanner machines, which will be performed by the localities,” the Dept. of Elections handbook reads. “The purpose of the audit is to study the accuracy of ballot scanner machines.”