The 17-year-old son of Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin attempted to vote twice on Election Day, state election officials said Friday.
"The young man presented identification but was ineligible to be registered due to his age and was not permitted to vote," the Fairfax County Office of Elections said in a statement. "The man was given a registration form and encouraged to register for future elections." The office identified the person as Youngkin's son.
"The man did not vote. He made no false statements. He did not disrupt voting. Based upon information available to me now, it appears that he committed no election offense as defined in Chapter 10 of the Elections Code," Scott O. Konopasek, director of Fairfax County's elections office, said in the statement.
At 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Election Day, poll worker records show, the teenager entered the center and requested a ballot. He was told he had to be at least 18 in order to vote — and when poll staffers offered him voter registration, he declined and left, according to election officials.
But then Youngkin's son returned a second time and the same scenario repeated, poll records show.
Youngkin made election integrity a focal point of his campaign's strategy to win the GOP nomination; the issue has become central to many Republican campaigns since the 2020 presidential election.
But when asked about his son's attempt to vote illegally, Youngkin's campaign suggested the incident was being blown out of proportion.
"It's unfortunate that while Glenn attempts to unite the Commonwealth around his positive message of better schools, safer streets, a lower cost of living, and more jobs, his political opponents—mad that they suffered historic losses this year—are pitching opposition research on a 17-year-old kid who honestly misunderstood Virginia election law and simply asked polling officials if he was eligible to vote; when informed he was not, he went to school," campaign spokesperson Devin O'Malley said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
Jennifer Chanty, the precinct captain at Great Falls Library, noticed the teenager's age and recognized his name, the Washington Post reported. She told Youngkin's son that because he was under 18 years old, he was not permitted under state law to vote.
Virginia does allow anyone under 18 to vote if it's a primary election and if they will be of age by the general election.
“I told him, ... ‘You are not registered to vote today. You’re welcome to register, but you will not be voting today,’” Chanty said to the Post.
She went on to tell the newspaper: “It was just weird. He was very insistent that he wanted to vote in this election and I said, ‘Well, you’re not old enough.’"
Some people expressed frustration over voting access, with many comparing this case to that of Crystal Mason, a Black woman in Texas who was sentenced to five years in prison for voting illegally.
"Crystal Mason, Black woman in Texas, gets 5 years in prison for casting ballot on supervised release when didn’t realize ineligible & vote wasn’t even counted
Glenn Youngkin’s 17 year old son tries to illegally vote twice & no charges filed," journalist Ari Berman tweeted.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the Virginia Department of Elections and Fairfax County Office of Elections for further comment.