The Virginia chapter of the NAACP is calling for state Attorney General Jason Miyares to disband the recently created election integrity unity, according to the Associated Press. In September, Miyares formed the unit made up of more than 20 attorneys, investigators, and paralegals to work with law enforcement with the aim of securing “legality and purity in elections.” The unit was also given the power to provide legal advice to the Virginia Department of Elections. This department is a slightly different iteration of the same idea done in Florida and Georgia.
Virginia’s chapter of the NAACP wasn’t buying the reasoning for this department and was worried that it would fuel election-fraud conspiracies. The civil rights group then paid a deposit of more than $19,000 for a records request (they ultimately ended up paying $9,500) related to “its organization, staffing, activities, and other matters.” The NAACP also asked for any records identifying the number of convictions for crimes constituting “election cheating” in Virginia each year since 2008. The attorney general’s office said they had no records of that. Thus, the president of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP called for the group to be dissolved.
From the Associated Press:
“This unit is plainly a paper tiger,” NAACP Virginia President Robert N. Barnette Jr. said at a press conference in Richmond Tuesday morning, “a public relations ploy to pander to election deniers and conspiracy theorists, who are the real force undermining public confidence in our elections.”
The attorney general’s office called on the NAACP to apologize for what they deem an “inappropriate and baseless attack.” Miyares’ spokeswoman Victoria LaCivita stated unit was fielding citizen complaints and handling lawsuits involving elections issues and irregularities. LaCivita also said Miyares affirms there is no widespread election fraud in Virginia.