CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- State Senator Amanda Chase (R - Chesterfield) officially filed a complaint with the Virginia Department of Elections after her Republican primary loss to Glen Sturtevant in a Chesterfield-anchored state senate district.
The complaint was filed the same day the Department of Elections certified Sturtevant as the winner of the 12 District primary election.
In the complaint obtained by CBS 6, Chase asked for a hand count of absentee ballots and a full forensic audit of voting equipment.
Since her Primary Day loss, Chase has taken issue with the process of certification of early voting machines.
She has said she had emails showing the Chesterfield GOP chose a member of the Sturtevant team to view the certification of the early, in-person machines.
“It undermines the trust of the people,” she said. "If the State Board of Elections chooses to ignore our complaint then we have other remedies we hate to use but we will use."
The Chesterfield County registrar has disputed Chase's claims and said the county followed the protocol election officers are required to follow, according to state law.
“Before the final testing of voting or counting machines for any election, the general registrar shall mail written notice. . . (ii) in a primary election, to the chairman of the local committee of the political party holding the primary,” the code states.
Chase lost the primary by nearly 400 votes. CBS 6 Political Analyst Bob Holsworth said once the certification happened, the election is over.
He said the certification is a sign the State Board of Elections is comfortable with the results and that they have been reported accurately.
“This has no impact whatsoever on how they are going to act. They have acted. They have certified,” he said.
When asked why she still planned to pursue this complaint despite the results being certified, Chase said she was a fighter for the people and wanted things to be done fairly by the law.
“If you give me a 1 percent chance to contest something I’m going to stand up for the people who voted and supported me,” she said.
Chase said she planned to launch a write-in campaign in the fall so she could still have a shot to hold her Senate seat in November.
Chase also stated she raised $10,000 to help get a legal consult to fight her loss.
"We didn’t want to file a frivolous lawsuit. We didn’t want to file a lawsuit that didn’t have any standing. It took some time to raise the money and took some time to have our attorneys take a look at the best strategy moving forward and we believe is going to the state board of elections,” she said.
She said her attorneys advised her the state law the Board Elections cites does not include primaries, so the only means for her to file a lawsuit would be if the Department of Elections agrees to the recount and audit. They then would also have to find evidence for a lawsuit to be brought.
The Department of Elections declined to comment on the situation.
CBS 6 is still waiting to hear back from Sturtevant. In past statements, he said he wanted to remain focused on his campaign to win the seat this fall.
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