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Press release from Stafford County Registrar concerning absentee ballots

The Stafford County Registrar, Greg Riddlemoser, has sent out a press release acknowledging the very serious allegations that have been leveled against him. The press release is as follows:


STAFFORD, Virginia - November 11, 2017 - Greg Riddlemoser, General Registrar of Stafford County, Virginia, issued the following statements about rumors and public speculation regarding the handling of 2017 Virginia General Election absentee ballots by his office:

"There has been a tremendous amount of mistaken reporting and discussion relating to my office's handling of absentee ballots in last week's election. First, I can categorically deny that any ballots, much less over 1,000 ballots as reported by certain outlets, have been destroyed or thrown away by me, the Stafford County Electoral Board, or the staff of the Registrar's office. Any such allegation or insinuation is 100% false.

"I believe the apparent controversy is a result of misunderstanding what my office, and what the Stafford County Electoral Board, can lawfully do. Under Virginia law (see code citation) {SIC}, we can only count those absentee ballots that were returned to the Registrar's office by 7:00 pm on the day of the election - the same time the other polls close.

“On election day last Tuesday, my office received our final pre-election delivery of absentee ballots by the United States Postal Service at approximately 6:30 pm. We followed all normal procedures with those ballots, including by, later in the evening on election day, counting all those that were properly returned.

"As with all elections, we responded to timely requests for absentee ballots, and mailed out approximately 1,100 more ballots this year than were completed and returned to us by the 7:00 pm deadline on Tuesday. While this is a larger than normal number of unreturned ballots, it is not uncharacteristic given the overall turnout numbers for this election. With every election, my office typically continues to receive late absentee ballots for weeks - and sometimes even months- after an election has come and gone. We cannot count these ballots without an order of a court competent jurisdiction, and instead store them, (unopened) in a secure manner in the custody of the Stafford County Clerk of Court.

"This includes the roughly 55 absentee ballots that were not received from the USPS by my office until Wednesday, November 8, the day after the deadline by which they had to have been received in order to be counted. Contrary to some reports, these ballots were not 'military' ballots per se, but rather a collection of all types of absentee ballots that happened to be in the postal pipeline at that same time.

"I should note that questions around these late absentee ballots are separate and apart from the issues surrounding provisional ballots, which will be addressed by the Stafford County Electoral Board on Monday, November 13th.

"I have been privileged to be the General Registrar for the voters of Stafford County since 2011. It is my honor to help ensure fair, transparent, lawful, and efficient elections. I remain at the service of the Electoral Board Chairman Doug Filler and the other members of the Board, as we continue to work together to achieve these aims with a steadfast commitment to integrity.

Media Contact:

Greg Riddlemoser

On another note, there are quite a few people who have stated that the registrar's office gave incorrect information to those who voted provisionally by stating that they should return on Friday to address their provisional ballot, which of course was a federal holiday and the office was closed. BTW has FINALLY obtained the official instructions that went home with those who cast a provisional ballot. Do not ask me to explain why Shrek is on one side but on the other it clearly states that voters have until Monday to address their provisional ballot or show ID. While it is still possible voters were misinformed in another way, BTW has been told that this notice went out to all voters who voted provisionally. The notice given to all provisional balloters is below: