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Fredericksburg-area delegate signed letter urging nullification of Virginia presidential vote
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Fredericksburg-area delegate signed letter urging nullification of Virginia presidential vote

2019 Election (copy)

Del. Mark Cole celebrates his reelection to the 88th District House of Delegates seat in 2019.

A state delegate who represents the Fredericksburg area signed a letter last week asking Vice President Mike Pence to nullify Virginia’s electors until an audit of the presidential election could be conducted.

Del. Mark Cole, R–Spotsylvania, signed the letter, which he said was written by Del. Dave LaRock, R-Loudoun. The letter was also signed by Del. Ronnie Campbell, R-Rockbridge.

Cole represents the 88th District, which includes parts of Fredericksburg and parts of Spotsylvania, Stafford and Fauquier counties. He is also Spotsylvania’s assistant county administrator.

The letter was sent Tuesday, Jan. 5, the day before the presidential certification vote at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and the storming of the building by some supporters of President Donald Trump. Democrat Joe Biden’s election win was eventually certified by the House and Senate.

In an interview Monday, Cole said he doubts the vice president saw the letter because it was sent so late. While some senators and representatives unsuccessfully challenged results from Arizona and Pennsylvania, Virginia’s votes were not challenged.

The letter cites numerous issues, most prominently challenging the special session in which state legislators expanded the use of absentee ballots and allowing drop-off boxes in the Nov. 6 election. The letter claims the changes violated the state constitution because they were not undertaken in an emergency session.

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According to the letter, the changes “led to greatly increased opportunities for massive voter fraud and election fraud,” resulting in “late-night reporting from central absentee precincts” that impacted the presidential race and state elections. The letter adds that data on those votes couldn’t be authenticated.

The delegates also claim that most of the state’s registrars said the changes “compromised” their ability to do their jobs properly.

The letter closes by saying if a president is elected “based on a tally of unconstitutional and fraudulently elected Presidential Electors, it would create a rent in the fabric of the nation.”

Cole acknowledged Monday that the challenge to Biden’s presidency is now moot and that he hopes “we can put this behind us.” But he thinks the election results should be scrutinized.

“I think there are a lot of questions about this election,” Cole said.

He worries that such scrutiny might not happen now, “because of the violence in Washington.”

“Anytime you resort to violence, it hurts your cause,” he said.

Cole also worries that Americans “are losing faith in the election system,” based on this election and Trump’s 2016 win, which some Democrats claimed was fraudulent. The delegate said a “bipartisan effort” is needed to “find some common sense” with election laws.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436

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