Nov. 25, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A recount is looming larger in the historic race for Virginia attorney general, despite the state's certification of the Democrat's 165-vote lead.
The State Board of Education unanimously certified Mark Herring the winner on Monday after canvassing the Nov. 5 vote. He maintained the edge he had held over Republican Mark Obenshain before the board's certification.
But the election board's chairman, Charles Judd, expressed concern about what he called the integrity of the statewide vote, citing as an example Fairfax County's count of provisional ballots. Those are contested ballots. The Fairfax board has said it followed state election law.
As he has said previously, Herring declared himself the state's next attorney general.
As for Obenshain, his campaign said it would not immediately decide whether to seek a recount. Obenshain has 10 days to decide.
Mark Obenshain for Attorney General Campaign Manager Chris Leavitt issued the following statement regarding the Completion of the State Board of Elections vote tally.
“With the completion of the State Board of Elections vote tally, this initial count shows the narrowest percent vote differential of any U.S. statewide race in the 21st century and the closest statewide election in modern Virginia history. We’re all grateful for the election officials and volunteers across Virginia who have worked overtime as this tabulation of votes is completed. As it currently stands, the 165 vote margin out of more than 2.2 million votes cast is well within the margin that could be potentially closed in a recount. There have been four statewide elections in the U.S. since 2000 that finished within a 300 vote margin. In three of those four statewide elections the results were reversed in a recount.
“Over the next few days, we will continue to review these results. Margins this small are why Virginia law provides a process for a recount. However, a decision to request a recount, even in this historically close election, is not one to be made lightly. Virginia law allows ten days to request a recount. We will make further announcements regarding a recount well within that time, in order to ensure the closure and confidence in the results that Virginians deserve.”