Beals says no reports of voter harassment or intimidation in Virginia

By: - November 8, 2022 4:43 pm

A polling place at Richmond’s Main Library on Nov. 8, 2022. (Sarah Vogelsong / Virginia Mercury)

Virginia Elections Commissioner Susan Beals said the state Department of Elections hasn’t received any specific reports of voter harassment or intimidation as Election Day enters its last few hours. 

Asked whether the department had heard of any reports that might not have been officially sent to the department, Beals said, “I can’t speak to reports that I don’t know about.” 

In the lead up to Election Day, concerns spread nationwide that voter intimidation could disrupt the Nov. 8 midterms. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll found that two in five voters were worried about intimidation or threats of violence at the polls. 

Much of the attention has centered on the presence of armed members of QAnon-linked group Clean Elections USA at drop boxes in Maricopa County, Arizona. 

A federal judge last week ordered members of the group to stay at least 75 feet away from the Maricopa drop boxes and forbid them from following or speaking to voters who dropped ballots off there. Members were also barred from openly carrying firearms of visibly wearing body armor within 250 feet of a drop box.

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Sarah Vogelsong
Sarah Vogelsong

Sarah is Editor-in-Chief of the Mercury and previously its environment and energy reporter. She has worked for multiple Virginia and regional publications, including Chesapeake Bay Journal, The Progress-Index and The Caroline Progress. Her reporting has won awards from groups such as the Society of Environmental Journalists and Virginia Press Association, and she is an alumna of the Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative and Metcalf Institute Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists.