Attorney General says ‘hands are tied’ in vote-dumping investigation

Posted at 1:34 PM, Oct 22, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-22 13:39:43-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has responded to a Virginia state senator’s request that he investigate a recent allegation of voter fraud.

In a letter to Sen. Donald McEachin (D – Henrico) dated Oct. 22, Attorney General Cuccinelli said his hands were tied in this matter.

“My office does not have the authority to investigate election matters unless explicitly requested to do so by the State Board of Elections, a local commonwealth’s attorney, or a local electoral board member, ” Cuccinelli wrote. “No such request has been made to date; and therefore, by law, I do not have the authority to undertake the investigation you have suggested.”

Last week a man was charged in Rockingham County after a witness reported seeing him dump voter registration forms in the trash. Twenty-three-year-old Colin Small is facing 13 felony and misdemeanor counts all related to alleged voter fraud.

Small was hired by the Republican Party of Virginia to register Virginia voters. The Republican Party of Virginia released a statement that said Small’s alleged actions are a direct contradiction of both his training and the explicit instructions given to him.

Virginia Registrar Brandi Lilly said she did not believe the alleged actions were politically motivated because there is no way to tell to which party the registered voters are affiliated.

Cuccinelli said he agreed with the “sentiment reflected” in McEachin’s statements that the Attorney General’s Office have the power to investigate and prosecute violations of election law. Cuccinelli said he would support McEachin’s effort to change the law during the next General Assembly session.