Court papers say ex-Virginia election official on trial 'altered election results' in 2020 election

Former Prince William County general registrar Michele White was indicted by a grand jury on two felony counts alleging corrupt conduct as an election official and making a false statement, and one misdemeanor charge of willful neglect of duty by an election officer last year. She has filed for a "Bill of Particulars" which requires prosecutors to provide more detail about her alleged wrongdoing.

Published: November 27, 2023 11:00pm

Updated: November 30, 2023 11:57am

The former general registrar of Prince William County, Va., allegedly “altered election results” during the 2020 election, according to court documents recently obtained by Just the News. However, the current general registrar says that his predecessor’s alleged conduct didn’t impact any election outcomes. 

In a county where President Joe Biden received 54% of the vote in the 2020 presidential election to former President Donald Trump's 44%, an election official at the time allegedly "altered election results" in the state's reporting system, leading to three grand jury indictments last year.

In September 2022, former Prince William County general registrar Michele White was indicted by a grand jury on two felony counts alleging corrupt conduct as an election official and making a false statement, and one misdemeanor indictment of willful neglect of duty by an election officer. White’s jury trial is set to begin on Jan. 16, 2024, and go until Jan. 26. 

White had abruptly resigned in 2021 without explanation. 

When the Virginia attorney general’s office announced the indictments last year, the only additional information offered was that White allegedly violated the law between August and December 2020, but details regarding the alleged actions were not given. 

This week, Just the News obtained documents from the Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office through a court records request regarding the three charges against White, which provided some additional information. 

According to a notice and motion for release of court funds for defense investigation and expert assistance that was filed this past March, White’s lawyer stated that the Attorney General’s office alleges “White altered election results within the state reporting system, VERIS, and that her alterations resulted in the false reporting of the election results from Prince William County.” 

The motion asked for the November 2020 election records to be unsealed, as they are “[t]he best evidence of the election results,” according to the filing by White’s attorneys. 

The court ordered the unsealing of the election records later in March for both the prosecution and defense to inspect and copy. 

According to a defendant’s notice and motion for a bill of particulars also filed in March, the indictment against White “does not provide enough information for undersigned counsel to identify with particularity the criminal conduct alleged by the Commonwealth in each of the three indictments.” 

The motion also claims that discovery didn’t clarify “the nature and circumstances of the offense for which Ms. White has been charged, it has only broadened the potential conduct for which Ms. White may be required to defend herself.” 

The alleged willful neglect of duty and corrupt conduct occurred between Aug. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, according to the grand jury indictments. The alleged false statement was made between Nov. 3 and Nov. 10, 2020, per the grand jury indictment. White was indicted on all three charges on Sept. 6, 2022, and arrested the next day. She was later released on bond.

The Virginia attorney general’s office declined to comment on Tuesday due to ongoing litigation.

White’s legal counsel declined to comment on Thursday. 

Prince William County’s current general registrar, Eric Olsen, gave Just the News on Monday a previously released statement regarding White’s indictment, declining to comment further since the trial is still active. 

"The former General Registrar for Prince William County, Michele White, has been charged with three criminal counts," Olsen said in a 2022 statement. "She left her position in early 2021. Her conduct did not impact the outcome of any election contest."

“In 2022, the Electoral Board and new Director of Elections have built an entirely new leadership team that is dedicated to fair and accurate elections," he continued. "Many improvements and best practices have been adopted to ensure a safe and transparent voting experience for the voters of Prince William County. It was the new Director of Elections that reported these discrepancies to the Commissioner of Elections and State Board of Elections earlier this year that led to this investigation by the Attorney General of Virginia. 

“The Office of Elections has no further comment at this time as this is pending litigation and our office will preserve the office’s records for public review when the matter has concluded,” Olsen concluded.

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