Virginia upholds election integrity for FUTURE elections as state judge outlaws counting late mail-in ballots without postmarks
01/31/2021 // Virgilio Marin // Views

Virginia Circuit Court Judge William Eldridge has ruled that election officials in Virginia were forbidden from counting unstamped mail-in ballots that arrived three days after the November election. In a consent decree signed Jan. 13, Eldridge determined that counting late ballots with missing postmarks violates existing state law.

Existing Virginia law states that "any absentee ballot returned to the general registrar after the closing of the polls on election day but before noon on the third day after the election and postmarked on or before the date of the election shall be counted."

The decree settles a legal challenge that the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), a public interest law firm dedicated to election integrity, filed in October against election guidance issued by the Virginia Board of Elections. Issued last August, the guidance would have allowed counting late mail-in ballots without legible postmarks.

The PILF sued on behalf of Thomas Reed, an election official in Frederick County. A week after the case was brought to court, Eldridge blocked the guidance in time for the November 2020 general elections, preventing late and unstamped ballots from getting counted.

The latest ruling permanently bans the guidance and will affect the forthcoming November 2021 Virginia gubernatorial and house of delegates elections.

"This is a big win for the Rule of Law," PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said. "This consent decree gives Mr. Reed everything he requested – a permanent ban on accepting ballots without postmarks after Election Day and is a loss for the Virginia bureaucrats who said ballots could come in without these protections."


Virginia's election law victory an outlier

However, many experts said that Virginia's court victory was an outlier. J. Christian Adams, an election lawyer who served in the Voting Rights Section at the Department of Justice, wrote in an article for PJ Media: "By and large, the Democrats succeeded in tossing out state laws related to absentee ballot verification, deadlines and a whole range of laws all in the name of COVID. By and large, GOP efforts in court failed."

Last December, Texas led a multistate election lawsuit against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Texas and other states that joined it alleged that those four battleground states exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to justify enacting last-minute changes and ignoring both federal and state election laws, skewing election results. But the Supreme Court junked the lawsuit because it deemed that Texas lacked the legal right to litigate over how other states conduct their elections.

Many election lawsuits were also dismissed based on those grounds, according to David Clements, a business law professor at New Mexico State University.

"I’ve reviewed hours upon hours of public hearings. I have read almost all of the lawsuits that are out there. Most of them were dismissed on legal process grounds," Clements said. "It’s not because there isn’t evidence. There is evidence." (Related: Flashback: Two men charged with voter fraud for allegedly submitting over 8,000 fraudulent applications.)

Clements said that he is in possession of more than 500 pages of sworn affidavits and forensic reports that would be considered valid under the rules of evidence. But the courts refuse to proceed with election cases. The problem, according to Clements, was that "we have a bunch of cowards. We have judges who are cowards, we have politicians that are cowards, and that’s the reality."

Learn more about how Democrats are attempting to steal elections all over the country by reading the latest articles at

Sources include: 1 2

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