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Update: Perriello Leads By Just Over 600 Votes in Final Charlottesville Tally

By: Mark Tenia Email
By: Mark Tenia Email

November 6, 2008

As counties and cities in the district continue to canvass, staffers representing the Democratic and Republican parties are closely looking on. The city of Charlottesville certified their results Thursday, with an over 600 vote swing for Perriello.

Rep. Virgil Goode issued a statement Friday saying he's concerned about reporting errors.

"With the vote counting process almost complete, it has become clear that there have been a number of reporting irregularities - including the misplacement of paper ballets and tape records from electronic machines and miscalculations in vote tallies. In fact, almost 20% of all the voting precincts in the district had reporting errors," said Goode.

He added in the statement: "While current unofficial tallies have me trailing my opponent, these irregularities have cast doubt on the reported totals. It is essential that we get to the bottom of these problems and insist on a thorough and proper vote counting process. We will continue to fight to make sure that every single legitimate vote in the 5th District is accurately counted and reported."

"We want to make sure that everybody that got a chance to vote, that was eligible to vote, in fact, that they're vote counted," said Republican representative Charles Weber.

And for the past two days, the electoral board, along with Republican and Democratic representatives are doing just that. Canvassing the final results, checking provisional, absentee, and paper ballots before certifying the results.

"We wanted to wait until today to report those results because we wanted to make sure that all of our ducks were in a row, all the numbers had been reconciled, and it worked out fine, the numbers match up and we just reported the results to the state," said Rick Sincere of the Charlottesville Electoral Board.

Resulting in a more than 600 vote swing for Perriello. A result agreed on by all parties involved.

"I think the beauty of Democracy again was the civility in that room, both on the Republican side, the Democratic side and the professionalism of the electoral board," said Democratic representative Jonathan Blank.

"They just conducted a flawless election cycle and they're all to be commended," said Weber.

Officials say it's easy for mistakes to occur on the actual election night, because of a run down staff, but close elections like the 5th district's, show the importance of an electoral board and post election canvassing.

"In a close election, you've got to really look at the actual numbers. It's just not official until the electoral board has really signed off on it," said Weber.

"Having the electoral board ensuring the integrity of the electoral process, and you saw it here today and you saw it here yesterday and it's just an amazing process to be a part of," said Blank.

The State Board of Elections will certify the results on November 24th.


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