File-Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares

(The Center Square) – A new Election Integrity Unit created in the Virginia office of the attorney general has garnered support from Republicans, but has also faced some opposition from Democrats.

The new unit seeks to ensure election confidence and ensure the legality and purity of elections in the commonwealth, according to Attorney General Jason Miyares’s office.

“I pledged during the 2021 campaign to work to increase transparency and strengthen confidence in our state elections,” Miyares said in a statement. “It should be easy to vote, and hard to cheat. The Election Integrity Unit will work to help to restore confidence in our democratic process in the Commonwealth.”

The unit will provide the Department of Elections with legal advice, investigate and prosecute violations of election laws and help ensure election laws are uniform and applied legally, according to a news release from the attorney general’s office. Under state law, the attorney general has the authority to take necessary actions to enforce election laws.

Some Republicans have voiced their support for the unit. The Republican Party of Virginia said in a statement establishing the unit is an important step in securing the state’s elections.

“This bold initiative will increase transparency in our elections, restore confidence in our democratic process, and better ensure that every vote is counted in accordance with the law,” the statement read. “...Miyares is sending a strong message to election officials throughout the state to follow the law, because our election process must be held to a high standard.”

Senate Democratic leadership expressed opposition and accused the attorney general of propagating former President Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

“The Attorney General’s announcement is one more attack in the war the Virginia GOP is waging on the right to vote in the Commonwealth,” Caucus Chair Mamie Locke, D-Hampton, said in a statement. “Not only is he propagating the Big Lie, but is throwing away millions of taxpayer dollars to discriminate and intimidate voters, particularly those of color. You have to look no further than our actions regarding another member of the Senate who chose to spew pure fiction and engage in insurrection to see how we handle attacks on the Constitution.”

Just last week, former Prince William County Registrar Michele White was indicted on fraud charges.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.