- Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s son tried to vote, though he’s underage, The Washington Post reports.
- Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s gubernatorial race on Tuesday.
- His 17-year-old son tried to cast a ballot twice and was turned away both times, The Post said.
The 17-year-old son of Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin attempted to vote in the election earlier this week, county election officials said Friday.
Youngkin’s son did not end up voting and did not violate any state election laws, Fairfax County officials added, per a report by The Washington Post.
Youngkin, a Republican, won the competitive Virginia governor’s election, edging out Democrat Terry McAuliffe by a margin of just over two points.
Jennifer Chanty, a precinct captain serving in the district, told The Post that the teen went to a voting precinct inside the Great Falls Library on Tuesday. Upon seeing his driver’s license, she told him he must be at least 18 years old to be eligible to vote.
Youngkin’s son left, Chanty said, but returned about 20 minutes later, insisting he be allowed to cast a ballot because a friend of his who is also 17 was able to do so, The Post reported.
“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 recalled, according to The Post report.
In Virginia, 17-year-olds are allowed to pre-register to vote and can vote in primary elections if they’ll turn 18 by the general election, but can’t vote in general elections if they’re not yet 18 years old.
Chanty told The Post that she offered Youngkin’s son the option to register to vote for when he turned 18, but he declined. Youngkin’s son’s efforts to vote may have based more in confusion than malice – Chanty also said that the precinct where Youngkin’s son tried to vote isn’t even the same one where his family resides and is registered to vote.
“Teenagers do stupid things,” Chanty told The Post. “I’ll chalk it up to that. I’ll believe that first before anything else.”
Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for Youngkin, said Youngkin’s son “honestly misunderstood Virginia election law” in response to 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,” O’Malley said in a statement to The Post.
Fairfax County’s chief election official Scott Konopasek told The Post that it’s unlikely that the young Youngkin trying to vote would rise to the level of voter fraud.
“The man did not vote. He made no false statements,” Konopasek told The Post. “He did not disrupt voting. Based upon information available to me now, it appears that he committed no election offense as defined in Chapter 10 of the Elections Code.”
As a Republican candidate, Youngkin walked a fine line running for office in the shadow of President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss.
He stopped short of publicly agreeing that the 2020 election had been stolen from Trump by voter fraud while calling for greater election integrity on the campaign trail, setting up an Election Integrity Task Force, and calling for an additional audit of all the state’s voting equipment on top of the statewide risk-limiting audit Virginia conducted after the 2020 presidential election.
“I think we need to make sure that people trust these voting machines. And I just think, I grew up in a world where you have an audit every year, in businesses you have an audit,” Youngkin said in early October. “So let’s just audit the voting machines, publish it so everybody can see it.”