RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Elections maintains a Twitter account that primarily shares updates on upcoming elections and info on how to vote — but for at least a few hours on Thursday, May 4, it was following an election-denying conspiracy theorist.
The official account — with a little over 12,000 followers — normally doesn’t follow anyone, but on May 4, it followed Ivan Raiklin, bringing the number of accounts it followed to one.
Raiklin is a conservative best known for promoting the conspiracy theory that Mike Pence could overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
These screenshots show the Virginia Department of Elections Twitter account on May 4. (Screenshot: Delaney Murray/WRIC)
Raiklin, who ran in the Republican primary for Tim Kaine’s senate seat in 2018, wrote a memo in December 2020 — retweeted and apparently endorsed by Donald Trump — claiming that Vice President Mike Pence could block certification of the 2020 election results on January 6, 2021.
Now, on a blog titled “Depp State Marauder,” Raiklin writes frequently about his theories that Pence, members of federal law enforcement and other political enemies plotted the January 6 insurrection as a false flag operation.
Shortly after 8News sent the Department of Elections questions about their Twitter activity, the account unfollowed Raiklin. The department has ignored multiple requests for comment.