Attorney General Jason Miyares announced Wednesday that a grand jury has chosen to bring two felony charges and one misdemeanor charge against former Prince William County Registrar Michele White for incidents occurring around the time of the 2020 election.
“First of all, proper investigations, we shouldn’t know what’s going on exactly, you know, as opposed to when some certain folks do investigations there’s a leak every 30 seconds,” said John Mills, director and founder of the National Election Integrity Association.
“A proper law enforcement investigation should be quiet, and so should be reserved, so I think that’s the way they’re handling this,” he told The Virginia Star.
Mills has been investigating Prince William County’s voter rolls for years, and said jury data shows that Prince William’s voter rolls may include large numbers of people unqualified to vote. In the process of his investigation, he had repeated contact with White through FOIA requests.
“She was extremely uncivil with me, just very unprofessional in her emails,” Mills said.
He said that eventually he tried to schedule a meeting with the registrar in front of a district court judge, and within a few days, White resigned. At the end of March 2021, the Prince William Electoral Board called an emergency meeting to discuss White’s position, and on April 9, 2021, White resigned for unspecified reasons, according to the Prince William Times. Shortly afterwards, Mills received the documents he had requested.
He said the three charges from the indictment don’t necessarily line up with anything he saw in the documents, although he hasn’t had a chance to compare dates.
One of the charges, “False statement by an election official,” is alleged to have occurred between November 3 and November 10, 2020, according to Miyares’ release.
“That implies something that was not appropriate during, essentially, the final reconciliation and certification for votes,” Mills said.
The Virginia Office of Elections said White’s actions didn’t affect the results of any election.
Two of the other charges relate to Virginia Code section 24.2-1001: “Corrupt conduct as an election official,” and “Willful neglect of duty as an election official.” Those are dated to between August 1 and December 31, 2020.
Delegate Tim Anderson (R-Virginia Beach) analyzed Miyares’ press release in a statement to The Star.
“The statutes are vaguely written and the indictment does not seem to drill down on facts specific to the willful neglect or corrupt conduct. This is because whatever evidence was presented was presented to a grand jury. Upon hearing that evidence, the grand jury issued the indictment,” Anderson said.
“To speculate, without knowing the facts, Tyra Baker was charged with a violation of 24.2-1001 in Arlington last year when she allegedly removed a voter from the voter roll that was also the victim of an assault charge where Ms. Baker was the charged defendant prohibiting the voter from being able to vote,” Anderson wrote. More on this: https://www.arlnow.com/2021/09/09/arlington-election-official-facing-corruption-charge/
He said, “Without knowing more, it’s hard to understand what is happening in Prince William, but it’s likely a case involving tampering with the voter roll by improperly adding or deleting voters to the roll.”
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Michele White” by eac.gov. Background Photo “Voting Booths” by Tim Evanson. CC BY-SA 2.0.
First of many indictments. Watch what happens after Jan 1. 2023.