Difference of 17 votes in VA AG race: recount appears likely
November 11th, 2013
02:42 PM ET
5 months ago

Difference of 17 votes in VA AG race: recount appears likely

(CNN) - The race for Virginia Attorney General appears headed for a recount, with 17 votes separating the candidates a week after Election Day out of more than 2.2 million ballots cast.

Republican state Sen. Mark D. Obenshain currently has a 0.0015%, lead over Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring, 1,103,443 to 1,103,426 in unofficial results, more than close enough for Herring to petition for a recount.

The Virginia Board of Elections allows any candidate who loses by less than 1% of the vote to make such a petition.

"The race is far from over," Herring told reporters last week.

"The commonwealth has a process to make sure all the votes are counted and we are going to make sure we go through that process," he said. "Right now it is basically 50-50 and the numbers have been moving in our direction all night."

Obenshain appeared well aware of the precipitous nature of his lead in a tweet Monday.

A recount, if it does happen, won't start for several weeks.

First, the unofficial results need to be certified official, which won't happen until November 25. Even then, Herring would not be able to challenge absentee and provisional ballots that were ruled invalid, or the eligibility of voters. State election rules do, however, allow candidates to challenge whether or not standard ballots were tallied correctly.

The race to succeed outgoing Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli followed a narrative of national issues and character attacks.

Obenshain accused Herring of being anti-gun and taxing "your freedom away." Herring went after Obenshain as being too close to Cuccinelli and his views on social issues painted by Democrats as being "extreme."

Cuccinelli narrowly lost his own bid to be the next governor of the Old Dominion, falling behind Democrat Terry McAuliffe by 3 percent.

–CNN's Dan Merica and Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.


Filed under: Virginia
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Jonathan

    Herring is up by 115, see @redistrict for updated results on twitter.

    November 11, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Voter suppression appears to have affected this race. Way to go Cooch!

    November 11, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. Larry in Houston

    unfortunately, this is gong to be like November 2014........right now, you can ask an average person on the street, when the next election IS......I'll bet a dime to a dollar, that they think the next election will be in 2016, especially if you give them a multiple choice Question.....LOL

    In other words, those are the Voters that will Vote in 2016.......but they either failed civics 101, (8th or 9th grade) or didn't pay much attention, or if they DID pass, they might have let someone else do their homework....LOL

    That's why there "might" ( I said "might") be a republican sweep, in 2014...

    November 11, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    The fact that in an NRA stronghold like VA, the charge of being anti-gun did not decisively tip the scales towards the NRA-backed nominee indicates that other forces were at work in this election. VA is still clearly a swing state, but it would seem that some of the traditional political dynamics within the state are being replaced by something more akin to PA than TN.

    November 11, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Wake up People!

    Ladies and gentlemen, voter suppression will prevail!! It is VA.

    November 11, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz aka Take Back The House

    The 40,000 purged voters has to do with this. When everyone else on the democrat ticket wins, you can't tell the republicandidate who is just as radical as the Cooch won the election. I'm not buying it. RECOUNT November 25.

    November 11, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    Voter reform is needed in USA.

    November 11, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. just saying

    elections this close and the democrats don't want to protect the integrity of our elections. i guess we all know who the fraudsters are!

    November 11, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. Donna

    Time for the Democrats to rustle up a few hundred votes from the usual dead voter pool. If anybody knows how to steal elections, it is the dishonest Democrats.

    November 11, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Tampa Tim

    Voter suppression appears to have affected this race. Way to go Cooch!
    --------
    Oh please. If that was the case, you'd have seen similar results in the other races (gov & lieutenant gov). This was a matter of voters not giving a rat's u-know-what about the down ballot or even worse, too lazy to bother filling out the entire ballot.

    November 11, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Woman In California

    Republicans and recounts go hand-in-hand and this one has crooked written all over it. Look for the T-Publican margin to suddenly become much bigger next time around.

    November 11, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. just asking

    Fair is Fair
    Tampa Tim
    Voter suppression appears to have affected this race. Way to go Cooch!
    --–
    Oh please. If that was the case, you'd have seen similar results in the other races (gov & lieutenant gov). This was a matter of voters not giving a rat's u-know-what about the down ballot or even worse, too lazy to bother filling out the entire ballot.
    --

    more like the people of virginia wanted a republican attorney general to keep an eye on the democrat thieves that took the two higher offices. good move virginia!

    November 11, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  13. Peace

    @Donna
    Was "W" a Democrat? Are you pretending to forget what happened in Florida 2000 General Election? Yes people have short memories, but that one can not skip out in anyone's head.

    November 11, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    -just saying

    elections this close and the democrats don't want to protect the integrity of our elections. i guess we all know who the fraudsters are!
    -Donna

    Time for the Democrats to rustle up a few hundred votes from the usual dead voter pool. If anybody knows how to steal elections, it is the dishonest Democrats.
    *****************************
    Wow.Just making sure you have the usual Right-wing word salads all chopped and ready to go, eh? Considering the fact that over 40,000 people were purged from the voter rolls by the Cooch in his effort to tamp down non-existant fraud, I would have to say that its the GOP that went to their tried and true playbook: off course, the fact that its an off-year election might have a lot more to do with it, and the fact that none of the candidates for any of the offices got anyone except rabid partisans happy.

    November 11, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. Faux Scandals

    If you can't win fair and square, cheat!

    November 11, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. Tampa Tim

    Fair – Oh please. The Cooch tried to purge over 50,000 voters. It will be interesting what the final purge number will be. I believe you will be shown to be wrong again.

    November 11, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Mike in Texas

    @Donna,

    Please provide us any recent election results in which Democrats used a "dead" voters pool to steal an election. Please provide the source and the website. I know you can't paste links but you can say what website. I find a certain pattern with you. You make baseless claims and when anyone asks you to provide proof you either ignore them or go on some rant about liberals, commies, fascists, socialists, marxists or whatever the RW talking point flavor of the month is. Right now it's "Train Wreck". Also, do you break a lot of keyboards? Your posts are filled with so much anger I'm envisioning you hammering the keys as you post your opinions.

    November 11, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Larry in Houston

    """Time for the Democrats to rustle up a few hundred votes from the usual dead voter pool. If anybody knows how to steal elections, it is the dishonest Democrats"""

    Typical "Palin type" talking points – usually comes from a "Quitter"

    November 11, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Larry in Houston
    I'll bet a dime to a dollar, that they think the next election will be in 2016,
    That's why there "might" ( I said "might") be a republican sweep, in 2014...

    -------------------------------------------------
    Even if these are the same folks that like the Affordable Care Act but dislike Obamacare I still don't think that there will be a Republican sweep in 2014.
    There's just TOO much time between now and then for the Republicans to screw up, or piss off yet another voting block, or just anger the voting blocks that they've already so successfully alienated before 2014 gets here.

    November 11, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. Larry in Houston

    There's just TOO much time between now and then for the Republicans to screw up, or piss off yet another voting block, or just anger the voting blocks that they've already so successfully alienated before 2014 gets here.

    Answer : Let's hope you're right....

    November 11, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    Donna assumes as though the GOP has sailed through its entire existance without making a single mistake, that they walk on water. Correction, their only mistake is not being conservative enough. It begs the questions as to what would be conservative enough for the current GOP? What ever that is, it will scare off the Independent voters, cluster F over the ACA aside, and certainly improve the odds for the Democrats come next November. You can't win an election with the base: and it should have been obvious to the GOP after 2012 and this election season. However, with the purity squads in full force on the GOP side, purging anyone who dares to think and act independently of whatever the astroturf groups tell them to do, its setting the stage for the GOP to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, again.

    November 11, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Mike in Texas
    Also, do you break a lot of keyboards? Your posts are filled with so much anger I'm envisioning you hammering the keys as you post your opinions.
    -------------------------------------------------
    I welcome the Donnas of the world, hateful and irrational up front and in your face.
    The ones that try to pass themselves off as sensible and compassionate yet won't hesitate to wish you back to a "third world hell hole" if your name is foreign, those are the ones you have to watch out for, right Fair?

    November 11, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Data Driven

    It's two things:

    1) Cuccinelli's purge (also explains the closeness of the Gov. race, as many of the purged votes were from Blue NOVA), and
    2) Dem voters not voting down ticket. Because, unlike conservatives, they're frankly lousy voters. This sort of nonsense happens all the time. I swear, one gets weary of EXHORTING, BEGGING, PLEADING Dem voters to vote DOWN-TICKET.

    VOTE FOR EVERY THING ON THE BALLOT. Do not leave a single bubble blank. If you don't know who, say, the judge is or the school-board nominee is, then LOOK HIM OR HER UP BEFORE YOU GO TO THE POLLS. Then, VOTE FOR THE LIBERAL.

    Do you think you can DO that, my pretties? Jeez!!!

    November 11, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. just saying

    Larry in Houston
    unfortunately, this is gong to be like November 2014........right now, you can ask an average person on the street, when the next election IS......I'll bet a dime to a dollar, that they think the next election will be in 2016, especially if you give them a multiple choice Question.....LOL
    In other words, those are the Voters that will Vote in 2016.......but they either failed civics 101, (8th or 9th grade) or didn't pay much attention, or if they DID pass, they might have let someone else do their homework....LOL
    That's why there "might" ( I said "might") be a republican sweep, in 2014...
    -–

    wow... pretty much admitting that demorcat voters are dumb!

    but we all know that the 2014 elections will sweep many democrats out because of obamacare and all of the lies that obama and the democrats told in order to justify the destruction of our healthcare system. if the tens of millions of people that had their healthcare insurance cancelled thanks to obama and the democrats, then the slughter could be far worse than 2010, another obamacare generated democrat slaughter.

    November 11, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    Donna cannot provide proof of her charges, because that would deny her faith that the GOP is infallible. Once she has to prove something, the illusion of GOP competance vanishes like a gas attack at a chili contest in a high wind: in otehr words, loud and offensive with no substance.

    November 11, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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