The following was just sent over by Speaker David Ralston’s office. It’s seems there’s still a bit of a chill in the relations between the Secretary of State and his former legislative chamber.
“I appreciate the Secretary of State finally using his statutory authority — which he has had all along — to delay the primary election in the interest of public health and safety. Having arrived at this inevitable conclusion after unnecessarily spending millions of additional taxpayer dollars, we can now move forward on a more realistic timeline that inspires confidence on the part of poll workers and voters alike.
“As we have seen this past week, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on snap, systemic changes in our absentee ballot process invites careless administrative errors. In the first week of this universal mailing of these absentee applications, many members of the House and myself have already heard reports of potential fraud and abuse.
“We have been in touch with countless local elections officials, poll workers and constituents expressing concern over a May election date, and we have acted in their interest and on their behalf. Now, more than ever, we need decisive leadership that inspires confidence in our elections process and is responsive to the situation on the ground.
“This is not about opposition to absentee ballots. In fact, I encourage people to reach out directly to their county election office to request an absentee ballot as they have done for years.”
—Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge)
Given social distancing requirements, it’s safe to assume the Speaker and the Secretary of State won’t be hugging it out anytime soon.