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Charges Dropped for Virginia Elections Official; Witness Testimony Alters Case Perspective

Photo: The State

Photo: The State

Recently, a judge in Virginia chose to drop the criminal charges against Michele White, who used to be the registrar for Prince William County and was accused of wrongdoing during the 2020 election. State prosecutors made the choice because a key witness’s evidence had changed in a big way.

Two felony charges—one for crooked behavior and one for making a false statement—were dropped. White will still be tried next month for a minor charge of intentional neglect of duty, though. There are still not many details about the accusations against White. Court records show that the attention is on the 2020 election results, especially in the presidential race.

Not much information has been released about what White is said to have done wrong. Election officials in Prince William have said in the past that White’s replacement told state officials about “discrepancies” in the results. They did say, though, that these differences probably wouldn’t change the result of any race.

Last year, Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares started the case against Michele White. This was around the same time that his office started an election integrity unit. Some people said Miyares was too friendly with fans of former President Donald Trump, who wrongly said that election fraud cost him the race.

Before the latest meeting, Assistant Attorney General James Herring, who was defending the prosecution, filed a motion saying that an election worker had given a “different version of events” than what had been said before. Herring said that this lack of consistency in comments made things hard for the prosecution.

Zachary Stafford, White’s lawyer, denied these claims, saying that the witness had only explained something that wasn’t clear from the first probe. Stafford brought up the fact that the witness said White did not tell him to make the changes that were being looked at. He said it was wrong for the prosecution to call the witness’s new evidence “convenient.”

The office of Attorney General Miyares didn’t say anything else about the minor case that was still going on. The new events in this case show how complicated claims of wrongdoing in the 2020 election can be and how hard it may be for authorities to put together a coherent story.

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