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Biden lost over 1,600 votes in Virginia due to vote miscounting, officials say

By Jake Beardslee · January 15, 2024

In brief…

  • Nearly 4,000 votes misreported in Trump's favor in Virginia county in 2020
  • Errors gave Trump 2,300 extra votes and shorted Biden 1,600 votes
  • County election director attributes issues to planning failures and human error
  • Director says errors don't indicate intentional undermining of election integrity
Election officials in a Virginia county have disclosed that due to technical issues and human error, nearly 4,000 votes were incorrectly tallied in favor of Trump in the 2020 election, but they stress the mistakes do not reflect intentional misconduct.  Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos/Wikimedia

Election officials in Virginia’s Prince William County have acknowledged nearly 4,000 votes were incorrectly reported in favor of former President Donald Trump during the 2020 presidential election. A recent statement from the county’s Office of Elections revealed Trump received 2,327 more votes than he should have, while President Joe Biden received 1,648 fewer votes than he earned, according to The Hill.

The miscounted votes also impacted U.S. Senate candidates from both parties, as well as a Republican House candidate who won his race but was undercounted by nearly 300 votes. The office said the misreporting was likely due to “results tapes not being programmed to a format that was compatible with state reporting requirements.” Attempts to fix this issue appear to have created more errors.

“The errors did not consistently favor one party or candidate but were likely due to a lack of proper planning, a difficult election environment, and human error,” said Eric Olsen, the county’s director of elections.

Biden ultimately prevailed over Trump statewide by more than 450,000 votes, so the local reporting issues did not trigger a recount. The revelations stem from a 2022 case against former county registrar Michele White, who was charged with misconduct and neglect of duty related to the 2020 election. Those charges have since been dropped.

Olsen stressed that Virginians should have faith in the state’s election systems. He said improvements have been implemented to correct the process for future contests. “Mistakes are unfortunate but require diligence and innovation to correct,” he said, adding that the errors did not reflect “a purposeful attempt to undermine the integrity of the electoral process.”