Trust us, you don’t want to know the details, although we have the opinion of Attorney General Bob McDonnell on the interplay of state and federal election laws as they pertain to overseas military voters.
The bottom line: Federal law preempts state law that appears to require the printed name and address of the person who signs the witness statement on a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, or FWAB as they say in the elections trade.
Del. Bill Janis, R-Henrico, requested the formal opinion after learning that some registrars are rejecting FWABs that don’t have the printed name and address.
A press release from McConnell notes that 100 such ballots have been set aside in Fairfax County pending a legal ruling on the issue.Read the opinion only if you truly like acronyms and analysis of inconsistent and confusing statutes. As a formal opinion, it has nothing to say about the broader Republican concerns about voter fraud and the Democrats’ contention that Republicans are trying to scare away new voters by challenging the legality of their residence.
By Alan Cooper