Difference of 17 votes in VA AG race: recount appears likely
November 11th, 2013
02:42 PM ET
8 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. Gurgyl

    Folks do not pay any attention to the paid people like Donna, they think we are in 2nd century not to understand and vote like sheep for Reagan. I pay no value to these color biased idiots bought from Fox.

    November 11, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. disent

    Cry Dems Cry. Lol

    November 11, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Tony in Maine

    cue Scalia et al.

    November 11, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. Bill

    Obenshain on the way to loss, despite GOP efforts to tweak rules at 11th hour of canvassing. Herring has the votes and it is over for this disciple of the Pope Cuccinelli.

    November 11, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. Tony D

    It is rather funny to hear the lefties claim there is no voter fraud when there are so many stories out there concerning voter fraud. All you have to do is Google "voter fraud". Are you all to lazy to do that?

    It is also rather funny for them to claim there is no voter fraud when they fight any attempt to determine if voter fraud is happening, by requesting IDs from voters. Millions of dead people still on the voter roles, millions of people registered in multiple cities, towns and states. Tens of millions of illegals roaming the country. The country is ripe for fraud and rest assured it IS happening.

    November 11, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    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.
    --------------------
    According to the Virginia Board of Elections, the Governors race tallied as follows ....
    Cuccinelli = 1,013,199
    McCauliffe = 1,212,791

    There is an approximate difference of 10,000 more votes cast in the governor's race.

    November 11, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Bill

    @Tony D

    That's right "STORIES" about voter fraud, mostly from Faux news. The actual incidence of proven voter fraud is miniscule. If you did your homework, you would know that. Instead, you adhere to the buffoonish talking points of Sean Hannity and his happy band of reprobates.

    November 11, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Wake up People!

    That's Voter Rolls, Mr. Intelligence. And prove that dead people are voting.

    November 11, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    -Tony D

    It is rather funny to hear the lefties claim there is no voter fraud when there are so many stories out there concerning voter fraud. All you have to do is Google "voter fraud". Are you all to lazy to do that?

    It is also rather funny for them to claim there is no voter fraud when they fight any attempt to determine if voter fraud is happening, by requesting IDs from voters. Millions of dead people still on the voter roles, millions of people registered in multiple cities, towns and states. Tens of millions of illegals roaming the country. The country is ripe for fraud and rest assured it IS happening.
    *****************
    Why don't you tell us some of the many examples you have in front of you: enlighten us with your wisdom. Can you please go into some detail, or do you want to just continue to offer charges with no proof? Come on, if its easy enough for a rightie to do it, it must be true. Show proof of how it has tipped a recent election that had national or even statewide implications.

    November 11, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    ******************
    people are getting better insurance, so who do you think they will thank, jack-hole? The people that insist that things were better prior to the ACA?

    November 11, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. rs

    Tony D
    It is rather funny to hear the lefties claim there is no voter fraud when there are so many stories out there concerning voter fraud. All you have to do is Google "voter fraud". Are you all to lazy to do that?

    It is also rather funny for them to claim there is no voter fraud when they fight any attempt to determine if voter fraud is happening, by requesting IDs from voters. Millions of dead people still on the voter roles, millions of people registered in multiple cities, towns and states. Tens of millions of illegals roaming the country. The country is ripe for fraud and rest assured it IS happening.
    ________________
    Proof, Tony, Proof. So far Virginia has two whole cases from the last election... imagine that potentially 4 illicit votes out of millions cast. Virginia's anti-voter bill looks to kick 400,000 voters statewide for the crime of having the same NAME as someone else. Look how well the same ALEC law worked in Texas- it booted a U.S. Representative from the voter rolls.
    Fraud, my friend, its fraud.

    November 11, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Mike in Texas

    @ Tony D. The laws aren't just about a voter ID's. They are about cutting back on early voting hours and days. Eliminating same day registration and voting, banning voter registration drives among other things. As for ID's, they won't allow college students to use their college ID in Texas but you can use your concealed handgun identification. I look for cases on voter fraud on Google and couldn't find much. I did find one lady who used multiple names to vote and she voted for the Republican. Maybe it's that "liberal" internet. I did find the case on Snopes that showed all these voter fraud claims but all were debunked. Point is, voter fraud is not this rampant thing going around like the Gov of North Carolina said. They are put into place to disenfranchise blocks of voters that vote Democrat and vote honestly. Republicans know they can't win elections when the turn out is high. It backfired in 2012 and it will keep back firing.

    November 11, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    Yes, rest assured, fraud is happening: according to Tony D, millions of undocumented illegals are being signed up as we speak to vote in our elections. Yep, its happening out in the woods, in the desert, in farmer's fields while they pick the veggies we are too proud to pick. They are lining up, some of them not even bothering to take off the hundred-pound bales of weed they are smuggling into the country ( according to Steve King). Yep, hordes of illegals showed up at my polling placve last week to put another GOPer into office as town supervisor of Greece NY. What better way for an illegal to vote than to vote GOP?

    November 11, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. wendel

    such a close election of course they should have a recount. Apparently a lot of people on this site do not understand that. Voter fraud is a joke and the crap the right is pulling in many states is not really about voter fraud but voter supression. Try reading the laws that they are trying to pass . The tidy rightys will believe anything with out even reading the bills.

    November 11, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. max

    Wash Post 6 Nov 2013 "Scheme to get driver licenses and ID's for illegal immigrants, hatched in the Va DMV"

    I wonder who the 300+ illegals in this scam voted for in Tuesday's election?

    November 11, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Voter surpression is real!

    November 11, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. Mike in Texas

    Love your last post Tom Paine. With all them illegals in the border states, why is that California is the only one with a Democratic Governor and why is that Obama won only two of the states? You'd think that with all them illegals Texas and Arizona would have a Democratic Governor and Obama would have won both states. Or maybe the Republican Illegals flock to Arizona and Texas, the Democratic ones to California and the tweeners to New Mexico. Hmmm

    November 11, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. tom l

    @The Real TP,
    "people are getting better insurance, so who do you think they will thank, jack-hole? The people that insist that things were better prior to the ACA?"

    Let's play the perspective game here. Most people in their 20's are the ones who will be getting this "better" insurance (I'm not sure how you know the insurance will be better for them, but it does appear that dems seem to know what's better for all of us ;)). That being said, these people will now be paying between probably $200 at a minimum where they used to have no payment. I'm pretty sure that they will not be happy being compelled to pay for something they didn't have before and, in many if not most cases, not really want nor feel that they need. I'm not trying to pick a fight with you but I have been seeing reports that many of those in their 20's do have that sticker shock and aren't signing up. Clearly, it's early and that might change but those are the initial reports.

    November 11, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. tom l

    @Wendel,
    "the tidy rightys will believe anything with out even reading the bills."

    Must. Not. Make. Too. Many. Jokes. Here.

    Really, with the most famous quote of all "We have to pass the bill to see what's in it" and it not even being possible for the people in Congress to have enough time to read the entire ACA and you're making that claim. Classic.

    Oh, and voter fraud happens on both sides. To think it doesn't just shows the hyper partisanship of anyone to not acknowledge that.

    November 11, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  20. Mike in Texas

    The irony in Texas is our current Attorney General Greg Abbot who will be the likely Republican candidate for Governor had to sign an affidavit swearing he was who he was. The reason was the name on his ID and his voter roll did not match. His ID had his full name and the voter roll had Greg Abbott. The irony is, the signing of the affidavit was added to the law by Wendy Davis, who will most likely be his Democratic challenger. So the law Abbott championed would not have allowed him to vote, so it took his rival's amendment to do so.

    November 11, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Mike in Texas

    It would be nice to see how many honest voters are disenfranchised for every one case of fraud that is prevented with these voter laws? 100-1? 1,000 -1? If so, is that worth it? It would be like saying this law will prevent all murders from being acquitted but in doing so there will be many more innocent people being sent to jail. I know the comparison are extreme but it begs the question.

    November 11, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. The REAL Truth...

    @Tony D – sorry dude, but the Voter fraud you claim IS happening – whichever state in which I have done the research shows it to be non-existent. For example: Texas.. the state who has some of the strictest VoterID laws in place today.
    There have been 52 cases with 5 convictions in 28 yrs – with over 40 MILLION votes cast. At the CASE level that's 0.0000013%. At the CONVICTION level that's 0.000000125%. None of those were against illegals... most were in fact Republican's voting in LOCAL elections... not even statewide elections.

    What appears missing in all of this is that those OPPOSED to VoterID laws are NOT opposed to showing ID's to vote. They are opposed to the limited sets of "allowed" ID's. Recently in the news was Wendy Davis and former Speaker Of The House Jim Wright being unable to vote because they didn't have "valid" id's. They were able to vote eventually, but only after spending $$ (that's called a poll tax) to get birth certificate copies to present for updated ids.
    Then there's the story of the Louisiana man (75) who had lost his drivers license. Needed a copy of his birth cert (from LA) at $15 for a copy, which he could obtain with a valid drivers license... It's an inconvenient truth that Voter fraud is almost non-existent and the Republican VoterID laws are a thinly veiled attempt to block a percentage of voter that tend to vote Dem (no, I'm not a Dem).
    why don't you look up who OWNS the company that makes most of the electronic voting machines that MOST districts are buying.. there's more likely to be fraud there, than anywhere else..

    November 11, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. annette05

    @disent
    Actually the democrat is ahead by about ninety votes. They haven't updated the numbers yet.
    No crying here.

    November 11, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. Larry in Houston

    """"Then there's the story of the Louisiana man (75) who had lost his drivers license. Needed a copy of his birth cert (from LA) at $15 for a copy, which he could obtain with a valid drivers license... It's an inconvenient truth that Voter fraud is almost non-existent and the Republican VoterID laws are a thinly veiled attempt to block a percentage of voter that tend to vote Dem (no, I'm not a Dem)""""

    """For example: Texas.. the state who has some of the strictest VoterID laws in place today"""

    """None of those were against illegals... most were in fact Republican's voting in LOCAL elections"""

    Answer : This Is True , I Can Attest To This......period.

    November 11, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. labman57

    Looks like it's time for another round of post-election rule changes.

    Perhaps the GOP should simply cut to the chase and declare that the only votes that count are those cast by registered Republicans.

    November 11, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
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