RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A juvenile son of Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin tried twice to cast a ballot in Tuesday’s election, officials said Friday.
The 17-year-old son presented an ID but was told he was ineligible to vote due to his age and turned away, according to a statement from Scott Konopasek, Fairfax County’s general registrar. The statement said the teen did not successfully vote, made no false statements, did not disrupt voting and appeared to have committed “no election offense.”
The statement mentioned Youngkin’s son by name, saying the identification was based on contemporaneous notes by the chief election officer.
The news was first reported by The Washington Post. The Associated Press is not naming the son because he is a juvenile.
Youngkin defeated former Gov. Terry McAuliffe earlier this week to become the first Republican to win a governor’s race in Virginia since 2009. His victory was part of a Republican sweep on election night that saw the GOP retake Virginia’s two other statewide offices. Democrats also said Friday evening that they were conceding control of the House. The Associated Press has not called all House races yet.
A spokesman for Youngkin, who campaigned heavily on election integrity, said the son misunderstood Virginia’s laws.
“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,” Devin O’Malley said in a statement.
Virginia law allows any person who is 17 and will be 18 by Election Day to register in advance and vote in any intervening primary or special election.
Jennifer Chanty, a precinct captain, told The Washington Post she encountered the son, who left after initially being told he was too young to vote. She said he returned a short time later, saying a friend who was also 17 had been allowed to cast a ballot.
Youngkin, who has four children, made election integrity central to his campaign during the fight for the GOP nomination, and he refused for months to say whether President Joe Biden was legitimately elected.
After winning the nomination in May, Youngkin mostly focused on other issues, though he drew Democratic criticism for attending an election integrity rally at Liberty University, for indirectly responding to a question about whether he would have certified the 2020 election, and for campaigning with state Sen. Amanda Chase, a prominent proponent of election conspiracy theories.
In a debate, he said “there wasn’t material fraud” in the 2020 elections, which he called “certifiably fair.”