Elections officials were “made aware” on Friday morning of “concerns that a 17 yo male attempted on two occasions to vote on election day,” Scott O. Konopasek, the Fairfax County General Registrar, said in a statement.
“The young man presented identification but was ineligible to be registered due to his age and was not permitted to vote,” Konopasek added.
Youngkin’s son did not vote and “made no false statements” or “disrupt voting,” Konopasek said. He was “given a registration form and encouraged to register for future elections,” the election official added.
“Based upon information available to me now, it appears that he committed no election offense as defined in Chapter 10 of the Elections Code,” Konopasek concluded. The statement named Youngkin’s son, but CNN chose not to identify him because he is a minor and was found not to have committed a crime.
Youngkin, a Republican, defeated former Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday night, delivering a significant blow to Democrats, and signaling that the Republican Party heads into the 2022 midterms in a strong position.
The Washington Post, which first reported the story, reported that Jennifer Chanty, the precinct captain at the Great Falls Library, said in an interview that she realized who the teen was when she looked at his identification and informed him that he was unable to vote because of his age. Chanty also told the Post that Youngkin returned to the precinct 20 minutes after his first inquiry and insisted that he be able to vote because “a friend who was also 17 had been allowed to cast a ballot.”
“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 told the Post.
Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the Youngkin campaign, said of the incident, “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.”
The incident comes at a time when Republicans across the country, spurred by former President Donald Trump, have made baseless claims about fraudulent voting and stolen elections.
Youngkin made “election integrity” the centerpiece of his campaign when he launched in his race in February. Once he won the nomination, he tried to walk a fine line on the issue, calling for an audit on the voting machines that were used in President Joe Biden’s 10-percentage-point defeat of Trump, while also acknowledging that Biden’s win was legitimate.
“I think we need to make sure that people trust these voting machines,” he said in October. “So, let’s just audit the voting machines, publish it so everybody can see it,” he said, ignoring that the State Board of Elections had already run an audit of the election and published the results.