Virginia Democratic Party Files Complaint Against Youngkin Campaign, Claims Ads Failed Disclaimer Requirements

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Posted: Oct 17, 2021 12:20 PM
Virginia Democratic Party Files Complaint Against Youngkin Campaign, Claims Ads Failed Disclaimer Requirements

Source: Kate Magee Joyce/Youngkin for Governor Campaign via AP

The Virginia Democratic Party filed a complaint against GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin's campaign, in which they allege that 13 of the campaign's advertisements failed to meet disclaimer requirements.

Youngkin's campaign is accused of violating Virginia law by not including "an unobscured, full-screen picture containing the candidate, either in photographic form or through the actual appearance of the candidate on camera."

"These noncompliant advertisements have run thousands of times and have been seen by potentially millions of voters," the Democratic Party wrote in the Friday complaint. "The State Board of Elections should immediately convene a hearing and fine Mr. Youngkin $130,000 for failing to comply with the law."

Youngkin's campaign told The Hill that, of the 13 ads in question, only two are currently in a rotation. The campaign also said that concerns raised about Youngkin's face in the ads being obscured were based on selective screenshots. 

The campaign provided screenshots of the ads to the news outlet that shows Youngkin's face unobscured.

The complaint comes as Election Day in Virginia nears, where Youngkin is taking on former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in the gubernatorial race. A recent Fox News poll gives McAuliffe a slight edge but notes that the race is within the margin of error.

"Given the increased prospects of Terry McAuliffe losing this election, the Democratic Party of Virginia would benefit if they spent more time trying to get their voters excited about Terry instead of pitching DC process blog stories," Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter told The Hill.

Virginia has previously seen gubernatorial candidates hit with fines over similar complaints. Former gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie (R) was fined $2,000 in 2018 for two television ads after the state board of elections voted in favor of fining him for not following the requirement to give an unobstructed view of him in the ads. A complaint was also filed against Gov. Ralph Northam (D) following the election, however, it was later dismissed.

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