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Virginia officials miscounted 4,000 votes in 2020 election

Election officials said that if the results had been close, a recount likely would have found the tabulation error.
Virginia officials miscounted 4,000 votes in 2020 election
Posted at 1:10 PM, Jan 16, 2024

Election officials in Virginia acknowledged that nearly 4,000 voters were miscounted in the 2020 presidential election, but would have had no impact on the election. 

According to the Office of Elections for Prince William County, officials undercounted 1,648 votes for Joe Biden and overcounted 2,327 votes for Donald Trump. In total, Biden should have received 3,975 more votes than his actual total. 

Biden won the state by over 455,000 votes, so ultimately the incorrectly counted votes did not cost him the state. 

Eric Olsen, the county's director of elections, said these errors were not spotted as the results were not within the state's margin for a recount. Had the candidates been within 1% of each other, the state would have ordered a recount. 

"The reporting errors were presumably a consequence of the results tapes not being programmed to a format that was compatible with state reporting requirements," Olsen said. "Attempts to correct this issue appear to have created errors. The reporting errors did not consistently favor one party or candidate but were likely due to a lack of proper planning, a difficult election environment, and human error."

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Olsen said the error also caused some other candidates to have their election tallies incorrectly tabulated. He added that those errors ultimately had no bearing on the election. 

"Over the past three years, the 2020 election has been the subject of audits, recounts, and investigations," he said. "Election officials have continued to work diligently in the face of extreme stress and threats to our health and safety. Mistakes are unfortunate but require diligence and innovation to correct. They do not reflect a purposeful attempt to undermine the integrity of the electoral process and the investigation into this matter ended with that conclusion."

As Olsen has noted, Trump has complained about the results of the 2020 election, claiming numerous times that the election was stolen from him. Dozens of court cases have not determined there has been any election fraud on a level that would have affected the outcome of the 2020 election.  

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