RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia NAACP said it paid nearly $20,000 for access to public records concerning the “Election Integrity Unit” created by Attorney General Jason Miyares.

The Freedom of Information Act request by the Virginia NAACP asked for all public records related to the unit’s establishment, organization, staffing, activities, spending, as well as the number of election fraud cases in the state.

Miyares’ office responded, saying the records would take more than 500 hours to collect and would come with a $20,000 price tag. The NAACP called the price ‘exorbitant,’ but did agree to pay.

“If the voter fraud were such a big problem, evidence of the number of incidents of voter fraud over the past year should be at the Attorney General’s fingertips,” said Virginia NAACP President Robert Barnette. “This dubious demand appears designed to dissuade the State Conference from exercising its right under state law to bring these documents into public view.”

Miyares, a Republican who defeated two-term incumbent Mark Herring last year, established the unit within his office to work with state and local election officials and oversee investigations into potential crimes.

The unit will give legal advice to the Virginia Department of Elections, prosecute violations of state election laws and work with election officials “to ensure uniformity and legality in application of election laws,” according to the Office of the Attorney General.

Still, the Virginia NAACP believes the unity could intimidate black voters.

“When you bring on prosecutors in voting it intimidates people, especially people of color,” Barnette said.

8News reached out to Miyares’ office for a response, a spokesperson called the claims “offensive, ridiculous and without single shred of proof.”

It continued, “It is an absolute insult to the Attorney General to falsely claim that he, as the first Hispanic ever elected to statewide office in Virginia, is trying to intimidate and prevent Virginians of any color or background from exercising the rights that were denied to his own family members. The right to vote is one of the bedrock freedoms that brought the Miyares Family to the United States to begin with.”

Governor Glenn Youngkin also weighed in.

“Investing in our voting system isn’t something always to address a problem. A lot of it is to invest to make sure that we have constant improvement in the system,” he said.

The Virginia NAACP said the Office of the Attorney General has until Nov. 8, Election Day for the midterms, to provide the records. 

Stay with 8News for developments.