The 17-year-old son of Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) tried to cast a ballot in Tuesday’s gubernatorial election twice despite being too young to vote, Fairfax County officials said in a statement released Friday.Now, please pay attention to the details:
The teen walked into the voting precinct inside the Great Falls Library on Tuesday afternoon, presenting his driver’s license to election officials when asked for a proof of identity, according to Jennifer Chanty, the precinct captain there.Michael A. Cohen (the MSNBC columnist, not the former Donald Trump lawyer) says we're terrible people if we talk about this.
Chanty said in an interview with The Post that she realized who the teen was when she looked at his ID. Upon seeing his age, she said she informed him that he must be at least 18 to be eligible to vote in Virginia. Under Virginia’s election laws, the only time 17-year-olds can vote is in a primary election if they’ll be 18 by the time of the general election.
She said she offered to register him to vote for the next election, but the teen declined and walked out.
About 20 minutes later, the teen returned, insisting that he be allowed to vote, saying that a friend who was also 17 had been allowed to cast a ballot, Chanty said.
“I told him, ‘I don’t know what occurred with your friend, but you are not registered to vote today. You’re welcome to register, but you will not be voting today,’ ” Chanty, a Democrat, recalled saying.
... Chanty said the Youngkins are not registered to vote at the Hickory precinct, making the teen’s effort to cast a ballot there even more peculiar.
“It was just weird,” she said. “He was very insistent that he wanted to vote in this election and I said, ‘Well, you’re not old enough.’"
A 17-year old trying to vote for his father is not a major scandal. Move along people— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) November 5, 2021
It's true that Fairfax County election officials say no laws were broken -- and, in fact, Virginia law makes "wrongfully" casting a vote a crime, but doesn't criminalize attempting to do so unsuccessfully.
However, that's not the case in many states that the Youngkin family's political party regards as models for the rest of the nation.
Florida statute 104.15 says:
Whoever, knowing he or she is not a qualified elector, willfully votes at any election is guilty of a felony of the third degree....Iowa statute 39A.2 says:
Election misconduct in the first degreeGeorgia statute 21-2-571 says:
1. A person commits the crime of election misconduct in the first degree if the person willfully commits any of the following acts:
... (2) Produces, procures, submits, or accepts a ballot or an absentee ballot, or produces, procures, casts, accepts, or tabulates a ballot that is known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, forged, or fraudulent.
(3) Votes or attempts to vote more than once at the same election, or votes or attempts to vote at an election knowing oneself not to be qualified....
... Election misconduct in the first degree is a class “D” felony.
Any person who votes or attempts to vote at any primary or election, knowing that such person does not possess all the qualifications of an elector at such primary or election, as required by law, ... shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or to pay a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both.And the Texas election code, section 64.012, says:
(a) A person commits an offense if the person:Remember, young Mr. Youngkin was told he was not allowed to vote the first time he tried. That means that even if he didn't understand the law on his first attempt, he tried to vote the second time knowing he was ineligible. And if you think it would be harsh to hold a seventeen-year-old to that standard, ask yourself: Wouldn't many Republican states do precisely that if the ineligible would-be voter were a Black Democrat? Especially a state like Texas, where the government offers a bounty for evidence of voter fraud? And imagine if this Black person were "insistent" on the idea that he/she/they was entitled to vote -- that would be seen as aggression and intimidation, wouldn't it?
(1) votes or attempts to vote in an election in which the person knows the person is not eligible to vote;
(2) knowingly votes or attempts to vote more than once in an election....
An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree unless the person is convicted of an attempt. In that case, the offense is a state jail felony.
I'm not the first person to bring up the case of Crystal Mason, who served time for tax fraud, completed her sentence, was on supervised release, and thought she was eligible to vote in the 2016 general election, so she submitted a provisional ballot. She wasn't eligible, and so she's been sentenced to five years in prison by the state of Texas.
And in addition to horrible cases like that, ask yourself: What would a Republican-run government do if a Democratic candidate's seventeen-year-old son did this? What would the right-wing media do? Would they conclude that it was "not a major scandal" and "move on"?
I notice that the Post story doesn't include any quotes from Democrats expressing outrage or taunting the Youngkins, even though you know that wouldn't be true if the parties were reversed. In fact, a Republican spokesman is trying to spin this story to the GOP's advantage:
Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for Youngkin, issued a statement Friday.That's politics in America -- the Republicans are treating this as a Democratic scandal.
“It’s unfortunate that while Glenn attempts to unite the Commonwealth around his positive message of better schools, safer streets, a lower cost of living, and more jobs, his political opponents — mad that they suffered historic losses this year — are pitching opposition research on a 17-year old kid who honestly misunderstood Virginia election law and simply asked polling officials if he was eligible to vote; when informed he was not, he went to school,” O’Malley wrote.
This really might have been an honest mistake. But then there's this theory:
The right wing fever swamp does in fact think that people vote illegally all the time and never get caught-I would wager that this is why he tried to vote illegally and why he would be shocked to learn he isn't getting away with it.— I have more flags than you 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@StableGeniusLib) November 5, 2021
That seems quite plausible to me.