Close Race May Spark Recount

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

November 8, 2006

There are no automatic recounts in Virginia. One of candidates would have to request it, which he can do if the results are less than one percentage point.

Both candidates have legal teams in place, but they can't call for a recall until the results are certified, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving.

If there is a recount with a race that's closer than .5 percent the local and state governments will pay for it. If it's still closer than 1 percent but more than .5 percent, the challenger will pay.

If you'll remember there was a recount in Virginia just last year with the Attorney General's race. Bob McDonnell was declared the winner, but Democrat Creigh Deeds requested the recount. The initial numbers showed McDonnell by 323 votes.

"It's very unlikely that a recount will cause a shift of 8,000 votes," said Sean O'Brien from the Sorensen Institute. "Last year when Creigh Deeds was running against Bob McDonnell for Attorney General, the number of votes separating them was just a few hundred and after the recount it was still a few hundred. In fact it went badly for the challenger in that case. He ended up losing by a few more votes than it looked like he was going to lose by."

Officials will take into account the type of ballots and voting devices in election districts before authorizing a recount.

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