Sample ballots were distributed on Election Day in Scott District indicating Republican Party support for Suzanne Sloane, though the party didn’t endorse her or any other school board candidate.
The Sloane sample ballot that some people received outside precincts in the Scott District had the oval next to her name filled in, indicating she was the candidate to vote for.
The official Republican Party sample ballot showed no school board candidacy endorsement.
Fauquier Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Hook said on Friday that his office was contacted about the matter late on Thursday. “Anybody with a complaint -- absolutely we’ll look into it. It has been brought to our attention,” Hook said. Beyond that he said he couldn’t comment. He said he couldn’t give a time frame for the conclusion of his office’s review.
On Nov. 5, Sloane narrowly won a second term against two opponents, Shelly Norden and Michael Hammond. Sloane won with 1,866 votes to Hammond’s 1,825 and Norden’s 1,694, according to returns from the Virginia Department of Elections.
School board candidates run without a party affiliation noted on the official ballot, but they can seek a political party endorsement. Hammond was endorsed by the Fauquier County Democratic Committee. Both Sloane and Norden sought the endorsement of the Fauquier County Republican Committee, but neither won it.
In order to receive the endorsement, a candidate has to receive two-thirds vote of the voting membership. Neither reached that, said Fauquier County Republican Committee Chairman Greg Schumacher in a post on Facebook and the party’s website.
“I strongly condemn any instance of the official Republican sample ballot bearing my name and approval being altered in any way and passed out to voters. This practice was not supported, backed or condoned by the FCRC.
“While it appears that some of the modified Republican sample ballots found their way into the hands of potential voters, there is no way to determine that number.”
Schumacher said that the problem was discovered early on Election Day and “both campaigns eventually produced proper sample ballots of their own creation, but on the same green paper as the Republican sample ballot.
“The FCRC bears no responsibility for the actions, past or present, of either of the campaigns and hopes that the individuals concerned, and their supporters can find a way to move forward in a positive manner absent heated confrontations on social media.”
Sloane couldn’t be reached for comment. In a text message reply, Norden referred to the statement issued by Schumacher.
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