Uncounted Ballots Found In Lynchburg Drop Box Post-Election, Sparking Irregularity Concerns

The Lynchburg registrar discovered seven uncounted ballots in a drop box three days after last week’s primary election, raising concerns about election irregularities among Republican candidates.

On Monday, the election between two Republican candidates for Ward IV Lynchburg City Council remains undecided, with incumbent Vice Mayor Chris Faraldi leading by 21 votes. The registrar confirmed that the drop box in the registrar’s office was emptied at 12:50 p.m. on the day after the primary to prevent overfilling. However, the box wasn’t checked again until Friday at 12:15 p.m., leaving it unclear when the ballots were deposited.

The registrar noted that although three staff members monitor the drop box, none observed any ballots being placed inside. The uncounted ballots have not yet been scanned or tabulated, and the Department of Elections has been informed. The registrar and the Electoral Board are currently investigating the matter.

Vice Mayor Chris Faraldi voiced his concerns on Facebook, stating that the registrar’s office improperly handled the ballots, violating state code and election procedures. He claimed that the ballot drop box was left unlocked and open, and the discovered ballots were processed three days after the election, which is against state law.

Faraldi accused the local party establishment of handpicking the registrar and Electoral Board members, who he alleges have supported his opponent financially and advised his campaign. Faraldi’s campaign was alerted to the situation by John McGuire’s campaign, which had a representative observing the ballot counting on Friday.

Peter Alexander, Faraldi’s opponent, released a statement aligning with Faraldi’s concerns about the primary election irregularities. Alexander’s campaign and an observer noted confusion among electoral board members and staff regarding the vote counting process. They reported concerns about the chain-of-custody of the ballots collected from the precincts and the absence of documentation recording the number of ballots collected from each drop box.

Alexander also alleged that his campaign’s observer was prevented from viewing the absentee ballot processing for 30 minutes after it began. He highlighted a potential conflict of interest involving Steven Michael Troxel of Crux Consulting, LLC, who is also a member of the Lynchburg Electoral Board and listed as a vendor on Faraldi’s campaign finance report.

In light of these concerns, Alexander called for a full manual recount and audit of the primary election and invited Faraldi to join his demand.

The situation continues to unfold as the investigation into the uncounted ballots proceeds, with both candidates seeking transparency and accuracy in the election process.

 

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