Gov. Glenn Youngkin has appointed a Republican former member of the Chesterfield Electoral Board who is also a former legislative assistant to state Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, as the new commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections.
The governor’s office announced the appointment of Susan Beals in an email Friday evening. She replaces Chris Piper, who had hoped to remain in the job under the new administration.
Then-Gov. Ralph Northam appointed Piper as commissioner in January 2018, and he was known for operating in a nonpartisan fashion and defending Virginia’s elections process against myths and falsehoods.
Piper’s last day was March 11 after Youngkin opted not to reappoint him.
So why is this such a big potential problem? For starters, the person Beals used to work for – State Senator Amanda Chase (R) – is a huge proponent of so-called “election integrity,” of voter suppression, and of the “Big Lie” about the 2020 presidential election. Chase is also an extremist in just about every way, was at the January 6, 2021 insurrection rally, etc. Also, check out articles like this one, which explains:
Nearly two dozen Republicans who have publicly questioned or disputed the results of the 2020 election are running for secretary of state across the country, in some cases after being directly encouraged by allies of former President Donald J. Trump.
Their candidacies are alarming watchdog groups, Democrats and some fellow Republicans, who worry that these Trump supporters, if elected to posts that exist largely to safeguard and administer the democratic process, would weaponize those offices to undermine it — whether by subverting an election outright or by sowing doubts about any local, state or federal elections their party loses.
So…yeah, this is very worrisome, and one of the main reasons why it was such a massive mistake to elect Glenn Youngkin as governor of Virginia…
P.S. DPVA spokesperson Gianni Snidle responded that “Youngkin had embraced ‘the fringe, far-right conspiracy theories of Donald Trump and The Big Lie.'”