Virginia Democrat pulls ahead by a sliver in state attorney general vote count
November 12th, 2013
10:30 AM ET
11 months ago

Virginia Democrat pulls ahead by a sliver in state attorney general vote count

(CNN) - On Monday, he was down 17 votes. Tuesday, Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring was 117 votes ahead of Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain in unofficial tallies in the race for Virginia Attorney General.

Tuesday was the deadline for all state localities to finish their vote canvasses, according to the state board of elections. The board will certify the election on November 25. Changes in the vote count are normal during this period, according to the board.

As of the latest count, Herring leads Obenshain 1,103,610-1,103,493, a 0.01% lead that is more than close enough to allow for a recount petition.

The Virginia Board of Elections allows any candidate who loses by less than 1% of the vote to make such a petition, which can happen once the election is certified November 25.

Herring told reporters last week that the race was “far from over” when the count showed he was 286 votes behind.

Herring spokesman Kevin O’Holleran said the campaign was confident the final results would be a win. Asked if Herring would file an appeal if Obenshain pulls ahead in the final count, O’Holleran said it was “too early” to consider that.

The Obenshain camp was just as confident of a win Tuesday.

“The race is extremely close,” spokesman Paul Logan said in a statement.

“We’re going to wait until the State Board of Elections finishes its tabulations and make sure that every legitimate vote is counted.”

State election law does not allow candidates to challenge absentee and provisional ballots that were ruled invalid, or the eligibility of voters. It does, 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 were painted by Democrats as being "extreme."

Cuccinelli narrowly lost his own bid to be the next governor of the Old Dominion by 3% of the vote to Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

Herring’s new lead was first reported by Politico.

-CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.


Filed under: Virginia
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "There is from me. 40k voters were purged from the rolls two weeks before the election by Republicans. They almost stole themselves an election. I think someone needs to go to jail.

    In other words, this race shouldn't have gotten close enough to recount in the first place."
    ------------------------------–
    The Voting Rights Act used to prevent any state from making changes so close to an election, but the SCOTUS thought that the law was unconstitutional and struck that part down.

    There is plenty of Republicans committing voter suppression out there. Pennsylvania is the textbook example of it. The head of the party is on video celebrating how their Voter ID law will help Romney win the state. But, they did more than just pass a new law in PA. They estimated that 700,000 people lacked the proper IDs that only available through the state's DMV offices. The state not only reduced hours at the DMV offices in the name of saving money, they had previously allocated funds to produce 70,000 IDs for the year. They further reduced that funding to a mere 30,000 IDs.

    November 12, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. sam

    wendel
    repos must have counted the ballots on the first go round. If the demo wins repos will just change the district's around . Either way Im sure it must be Obamas fault.

    November 12, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
    ---------------

    Yes, we'll take a couple of red counties from NC. I'm sure they won't notice. This is a state wide vote, there is only one district. And the dems are as good at gerrymandering as the GOP.

    November 12, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. Data Driven

    @Fair,

    "Aaaannnnd what was the reason they were purged? Were they deceased? Moved to another jurisdisction?"

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, whatever the reason, doing it two weeks before an election is inexcusable. Guess what, Fair? They weren't all dead. As for voters who changed residence or parties or whatever BS reason the state came up with to REMOVE THEM FROM THE ROLLS, the State still had a year to wipe the rolls of deceased voters. Can you articulate why they didnt do this last December? Doing this two weeks before an election shows high prejudice. I think it's legally actionable.

    November 12, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    sam wrote:

    Yes, we'll take a couple of red counties from NC. I'm sure they won't notice. This is a state wide vote, there is only one district. And the dems are as good at gerrymandering as the GOP.
    -------------------
    What does gerrymandering have to do with a popular vote? Nothing. Do you even know what gerrymandering actually is?

    November 12, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Ol' Yeller

    @Fair is Fair
    "Aaaannnnd what was the reason they were purged? "

    They were Democrats.
    No, Fair.... nothing fishy about this, the republicant ran election board just decided right before a major election that they needed to 'purge' some folks.
    I'm sure if this were a Democrat controlled election board who did this, you'd just think it was peachy keen, wouldn't you? Therein lies the problem though, right? Dems want everyone to vote. The more the merrier we always say. An important duty to your country. The will of the people, right? Funny how the other party does everything in it's power to stop, delay, defraud, or otherwise infringe on American's right to vote. American people.
    We the People....

    November 12, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Hector Slagg

    Aw Gheez, Rudy,
    Are you sure those Nasty Republicians are supressing the vote of Democrats? Maybe stuffing ballot boxes is still in style. That's how Lyndon Johnson got elected to the Senate in 1948 in Texas. But who's counting? The Liberal's have already screwed the country so bad that any ballot box stuffing won't fix it. We will need anther depression for that to happen. But the Liberal's are on track for that to happen, Rudy. You like the 17 Trillion Dollar Federal debt? More to come.

    November 12, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Aaaannnnd what was the reason they were purged? Were they deceased? Moved to another jurisdisction?
    -------------------------------------
    No clear cut reason was given that I'm aware of. It was the same in Florida. They tried to cite address issues. The problem is that instead of contacting people to verify their addresses, they just simply purge people and mail them a notice, which they get a week later when it is nearly too late to do anything about it. Doing that two weeks before an election used to be illegal, as it should be. Republicans would be screaming as if they were being flayed alive if Democrats pulled a stunt like that.

    November 12, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. smith

    @Ol yellow- Whats wrong? The truth sting a bit. Keep drinkin her kool-aid.

    November 12, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Hector Slagg wrote:

    Aw Gheez, Rudy,
    Are you sure those Nasty Republicians are supressing the vote of Democrats? Maybe stuffing ballot boxes is still in style. That's how Lyndon Johnson got elected to the Senate in 1948 in Texas. But who's counting?
    -------------------------
    ... and the same Dixiecrats who may have helpted Johnson pull that off are the same types who jumped ship to the Republican Party in the mid-60s after the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

    November 12, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Data Driven

    @Fair,

    "Aaaannnnd what was the reason they were purged? Were they deceased? Moved to another jurisdisction?"

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, whatever the reason, doing it two weeks before an election is inexcusable. Guess what, Fair? They weren't all dead.
    --------
    Any legitimate voter who attempted to vote and was not on the rolls was granted a provisional ballot, were they not?

    November 12, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Any legitimate voter who attempted to vote and was not on the rolls was granted a provisional ballot, were they not?
    ----------------------------–
    Not sure, but even if they were, tthe candidate can challenge those votes and have all of them categorically thrown out.

    November 12, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Ol' Yeller

    @Ol yellow- Whats wrong? The truth sting a bit. Keep drinkin her kool-aid.

    Oh, I'm mortally wounded by smith's barb... the truth doesn't hurt, otherwise I wouldn't have written it. You did not watch Rachel Maddow for 30 minutes and you are not very smart. Otherwise why would you have to revert to bill Oreally's old line?

    November 12, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    I'm on record as stating there is no excuse for making it harder for voters to vote in the United States of America. Nothing I've seen thus far has changed my mind. Not only are Republicans making it harder for every demographic in America to vote, they are proud of their voter suppression.

    America is better than this. Well, it used to be better. Nowadays? Not so much.

    November 12, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. vet in tx

    "Ha Ha" – Nelson from the Simpsons

    November 12, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. rs

    Fair is Fair

    Data Driven

    @Fair,

    "Aaaannnnd what was the reason they were purged? Were they deceased? Moved to another jurisdisction?"

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, whatever the reason, doing it two weeks before an election is inexcusable. Guess what, Fair? They weren't all dead.
    --–
    Any legitimate voter who attempted to vote and was not on the rolls was granted a provisional ballot, were they not?
    _____________________
    And according to Cuccinnelli, they have to show up IN PERSON to defend their vote IF they want it to count. Isn't that a double standard? Why should one group of people essentially have to vote twice, and be subjected to greater scrutiny? Especially when those very same voters are not told that they have to "defend" their vote. Look- the largest number of voters who were dropped from the voter rolls occurred in Democratically leaning counties, and in almost no cases dealt with the dead or departed.

    November 12, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Data Driven

    @Fair,

    "Any legitimate voter who attempted to vote and was not on the rolls was granted a provisional ballot, were they not?"

    So? Are you seriously suggesting that it's no biggie to discover you've been purged from the rolls only 2 weeks in advance of an election? Are you seriously suggesting that trying to sort this out at the voting booth didn't cause problems, and that some people didn't just give up? Don't talk to me about the registrars mailing out provisional ballots; indeed, they should have done that last December.

    Fact is, Fair, the Republicans did a very very naughty thing last month. And Rudy's right about how provisions in the Voting Rights Act, provisions now rendered null by a conservative Supreme Court, used to prevent this sort of nonsense. Spin it away all you like, but what does it say about a party when they have to pull last-minute rabbits out of a hat to win elections? I might suggest working on better ideas to convince people.

    November 12, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. just saying

    democrats stealing another election.... nothing new here. move along. no such thing as voter fraud. and yes, you'll also be able to keep your healthcare plan and doctor. obama said it was true...period.

    November 12, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Hector Slagg

    Um, Well,
    The usual reason voter's are removed from the rolls is they don't vote in two consecutive elections they are automatically removed. Not sure if a Notice goes out or not. Now, there Skylock, there is probably is a notice sent. Wouldn't want all those Nanny Staters to be left out, would we.

    November 12, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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