Supporters of former President Donald Trump are challenging Loudoun County’s use of “illegally uncertified” and “non-compliant” electronic voting machines a week before the nationwide election.
In a lawsuit filed Nov. 1, two Loudoun residents — Thomas Kasperek, of Sterling, and Richard Ryan, of Ashburn — allege that electronic voting machines used in the 2020 and 2021 general elections are made by Chinese manufacturers.” which are known to insert backdoors, allowing malicious actors to access equipment to manipulate data.” They are asking the court to disqualify all Loudoun County electronic voting systems “in favor of voter-verified manual counting of all physical ballots” until a decision is made on their use.
At stake is the 2020 general election, which Trump lost nationwide as well as in Loudoun County, and the 2021 general election, which Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin won in a majority of counties, at except for those closer to Washington, DC, such as Loudoun. Kasperek and Ryan are part of a group that claims the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. To September 29 meeting in Hamilton, members of the Alliance of Patriot Pubsa social effort of like-minded people who want to “take back the country one community at a time”, and other like-minded people discussed strategies to prove that the electoral process in Loudoun, and indeed the country, Loudoun residents are being pushed and abetted by outside contractors like Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, who at the meeting claimed to have uncovered evidence of vote manipulation in Arizona’s 2020 election.
Loudoun’s lawsuit primarily targets the county’s top election officials – Clerk General Judy Brown and Deputy Clerk Richard Keech – and its three election board members – two Democrats and a Republican – who the complaint says are “accomplices to the ‘illegally certified voting endorsement equipment’, although they are supposedly aware of their vulnerability to security vulnerabilities. Kasperek and Ryan further claim that the actions of these five individuals show “intentional and unintentional cooperation with actors harmful to alter the 2020 and 2021 results.” As evidence, both point to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security circular dated June 3, 2022, that 32 of Virginia’s 133 precincts were using data-scanning software. ballots that could be violated in nine ways.
The complaint also points the finger at the county’s nine elected supervisors, claiming they are “complicit” because they authorized the use of the equipment, “denying the plaintiffs’ multiple requests to review allegations of evidence of wrongdoing” and failed in their duty to protect the rights of legally registered voters.
Although the lawsuit also said that the National Elections “collaborated” with Loudoun election officials, the lawsuit does not name them.
Loudoun officials declined to comment on the merits of the lawsuit. Following allegations of non-compliant voting equipment made at the Sept. 29 meeting by Trump supporters, the County Elections Office pointed to Virginia Code 24-2-629, which requires the Virginia Board of Elections to certify all voting equipment used in the Commonwealth. Additionally, the equipment in question, the Unisyn Voting System, has been certified by both the Federal Election Assistance Commission and the Virginia State Board of Elections.
Kasperek, who declined to respond to emails about the lawsuit, regularly showed up at board meetings to press his claims. At an October 18 oversight board meeting, Kasperek piled one big book on top of another of evidence he and his group say they have compiled into what they say are election irregularities in Loudoun. He demanded to know why supervisors claimed there was no evidence of electoral irregularity. “No evidence because no one bothered to look into the case,” Kasperek told supervisors. Prior to that meeting, Kasperek threatened to file an ethics complaint against the oversight board for challenging the record number of freedom of information requests filed with the county elections office.
After a review of the complaint, Charlie King, a Leesburg lawyer who handles political and electoral matters, said the case was going nowhere.
“The county has immunity,” King said in an interview. “In Virginia, you cannot challenge government action unless a specific law allows it. Here, there is none. The case will likely be dismissed on an initial defensive motion, either a plea of non-receipt, a refusal or both.
Lissa Savaglio, chairwoman of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee, also said she found no evidence of wrongdoing in the lawsuit. “There’s nothing there, not a shred of evidence that a problem exists,” she said in an interview.
The whole lawsuit, Savaglio said, is based on the idea that these machines are built in China “so they falsely claim they must be corrupt. orderly electoral process,” Savaglio said.
On National Voter Registration Day on September 20, Youngkin appeared in person to the Loudoun Election Office to ask officials about the equipment and expressed confidence in the county’s voting process, but added that it could be improved. He did not ask for the manual counting of the ballots.
Additionally, Savaglio said Kasperek and Ryan were indulging in a fantasy if they thought a court would grant the request to ban state-certified electronic voting machines to tally paper ballots and not require then hand-counted ballots.
“It seems to me that this lawsuit only serves to spoil a well-rehearsed and carefully tested electoral process and disenfranchise voters, especially the 290,637 residents who have already voted in person by mail,” she added.
The Republican Loudoun County Committee could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit.