Delegate Mark Cole (R-Spotsylvania, Stafford) was recently removed from the House Privileges and Elections Committee in Richmond after signing his name a letter that cast doubt on the results of the Presidential Election on November 3.
In the letter, Cole and two other delegates Dave LaRock, (R-Loudoun) and Ronnie Campbell (R-Rockbridge) urged Vice President Micheal Pence not to certify the results of the election which the trio claim to be suspect. As a result, Cole and the other delegates were removed from one committee assignment each by House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax).
The Privileges and Elections Committee stands in order to set election rules in Virginia.
In an email to PLN, Cole state his removal from this committee should have no real impact on constituents in the communities that he represents. According to Cole, there is still the same number of Republicans on the committee.
“It is not really that big a deal,” Cole states, referring to his absence from the committee.
In a recent email newsletter to his constituents, Cole explained this decision to send the letter to the Vice President.
“We’re also working to restore confidence in our elections. Democrats changed a number of rules last year that opened the door for doubts about election security. The more secure and transparent our elections are, the more people will trust the results.
That’s why we’re working to end policies that could allow for ballot harvesting, reinstating photo ID to vote, and interference with poll and count watching volunteers. None of these changes will make voting more difficult, and will instead shed light on what has been an opaque process.”
In spite of the rebuke, Cole is introducing several house bills that will tackle several issues, two of those bills will deal with voting policy.
H.B. 1746 will requires the general registrar of each county and city to provide for a live video recording of each polling place while absentee ballots are cast, votes are counted, and returns are completed, and each central absentee precinct while ballots are handled and returns are completed.
H.B. 1970 will require the presentation of a form of identification containing a photograph in order to vote.
Delegate Mark Cole represents the 88th district in the Virginia House of Delegates which includes parts of Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, the City of Fredericksburg, and Fauquier County.