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Judge: Virginia can't count some ballots without postmarks

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Posted at 10:55 AM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 11:46:48-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A judge has ruled that Virginia elections officials cannot count absentee ballots with missing postmarks unless they can confirm the date of mailing through a barcode.

The ruling Wednesday partially granted an injunction requested by a conservative legal group.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation, representing Thomas Reed, a member of the Frederick County Board of Elections, and Robert Hess, Chairman of the Winchester Republican Committee, sued the Virginia Department of Elections and members of the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBOE) earlier this month.

The lawsuit challenged guidance from the SBOE that instructed local election officials to count absentee ballots with missing or illegible postmarks, as long as the ballots are received by noon on the Friday after Election Day.

CBS 6 reached out to the Office of the Attorney General for comment on the case. Press Secretary Charlotte Gomer says Attorney General Mark Herring is currently weighing his options on a possible appeal.

“Yet again, Republicans have gone to court to try and suppress the vote," said Gomer via email. "Attorney General Herring has made voter protection and election integrity a top priority over the past few months and he remains dedicated to making sure that any legally cast vote in Virginia counts. As Gov. Northam advised, voters may consider utilizing a drop-box at this point so close to the election to ensure the ballot is received on time and counted.”

CBS 6 has also reached to Christopher Piper, the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, for a comment. He declined.