By tiny margin, Dem declared official winner in Virginia AG race; recount uncertain
November 25th, 2013
12:13 PM ET
8 months ago

By tiny margin, Dem declared official winner in Virginia AG race; recount uncertain

(CNN) - The Republican who lost by a sliver in Virginia's attorney general will wait a few more days before deciding whether to request a recount, his campaign said Monday.

The announcement came the same day as Virginia's Board of Election's ruled that Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring officially beat Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain by 165 votes out of about 2.2 million.

When calculated, the vote margin is about .008%. If a candidate loses by less than 1%, he or she is allowed to petition the board for a recount after the votes are certified.

Now that the board has made the vote count official, Obenshain's campaign manager Chris Leavitt said they'll continue to review the results over the next few days before they decide whether to request a recount.

According to the state's election law, Obenshain has 10 days starting from Monday to file for a recount.

"A decision to request a recount, even in this historically close election, is not one to be made lightly," he said in a statement. "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."

Virginia election law states that the counties and cities involved must pay for a recount if the vote margin is less than .5%, meaning the recount would be free for Obenshain.

The 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.

With Monday's certified results, Democrats as of now have officially swept all three top-of-the-ballot, statewide offices in the commonwealth for the first time since 1989. Those offices include governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

"I am gratified that the State Board of Elections today certified me the winner of a close but fair election," Herring said in a statement, thanking the board and election officials for their work to "bring this historic election to a close."

But voters must wait until Obenshain makes a recount decision. His deadline is December 5.

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


Filed under: 2013 • Virginia
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    In my P. Diddy voice: TAKE DAT TAKE DAT!!

    Republicans, that's what you call a clean sweep from top to bottom. GOP, your reign of terror is coming to an end.

    November 25, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Another Gooper bites the dust. Wo Hoo! Invasive procedures and voter suppression were not much to run on.

    November 25, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That's a Trifecta for Democrats in Virginia!
    My heartiest congratulations!

    November 25, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Watch CNN to come out with a poll saying that the anti Obama vote almost cost the democrats the election in VA.

    November 25, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. reggie53

    I wonder how many ACORN voters were added on for him to win??? Just asking!!!!!!!

    November 25, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. current state of the union

    Translation, we will try yo find a way to cheat, of course they want a recount, its on our dime

    November 25, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. current state of the union

    As long as the bill is picked up by the taxpayers of course he wants a recount, if there is one thing the gop does well, its spending taxpayers money with nothing to show for it.

    November 25, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    reggie53

    I wonder how many ACORN voters were added on for him to win??? Just asking!!!!!!!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Considering ACORN hasn't existed since the reichwing smear machine lied and doctored video tape – a criminal offense BTW – in order to make it look like it was guilty of criminal offenses. Just saying!!!!!!!!

    November 25, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    reggie53
    I wonder how many ACORN voters were added on for him to win??? Just asking!!!!!!!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Considering ACORN hasn't existed since the reichwing smear machine lied and doctored video tape – a criminal offense BTW – in order to make it look like it was guilty of criminal offenses, the answer is ZERO. Just saying!!!!!!!!

    November 25, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Durundal

    "I wonder how many ACORN voters were added on for him to win??? Just asking!!!!!!!"

    Its been how many years since ACORN existed or was even relevant? What have you been doing, hiding in a hole?!? I dont care if you disagree with one party or another but at least try to stay relevant

    November 25, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Donna

    Another close election stolen by the Democrats with voter fraud. Why do you think they don't want IDs for voters? All it took was a few hundred fraudulent voters to swing this contest.

    November 25, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. Malory Archer

    Donna

    Another close election stolen by the Democrats with voter fraud.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And there it is....

    November 25, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. just asking

    interesting, on election night, it was the republican that held the lead, not the democrat.

    after the fact, how you you verify that none of those votes were cast by dead people or people not entitled to vote? answer, you can't, which is exactly how the democrats like it and how elections are stolen. voter ids must become mandatory all over the country in order to protect close elctions like this from questions of fraud.

    democrats have election fraud down to a science.

    November 25, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. A True Conservative

    How many votes did the Dems find in the trunk of a car in this election? We all know how they got Franken elected........

    November 25, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Donna
    Another close election stolen by the Democrats with voter fraud. Why do you think they don't want IDs for voters? All it took was a few hundred fraudulent voters to swing this contest.

    Mighty strong statement there missy. Where is your proof? From everything I read, Mr. Cuccinelli tried every trick in the book to change the laws and keep Democrats from having their mail in ballots counted and it didn't work.

    November 25, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    -Donna

    Another close election stolen by the Democrats with voter fraud. Why do you think they don't want IDs for voters? All it took was a few hundred fraudulent voters to swing this contest.
    ****************
    And, the fact that he supported the policy of forcing women to get invasive scans for their pregnancies might not have been a factor? If he had wanted to commit fraud, it would have not resulted in a margin of less than 200 votes, it would have been decisive.

    November 25, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Data Driven

    @Dutch,

    "that's what you call a clean sweep"

    Yep, and this was AFTER the botched website rollout ... and Republicans campaigned in VA on Obamacare.

    I really don't know why wingers are so confident right now. General irritation with Obama is not translating into votes for the GOP.

    November 25, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Donna

    Another close election stolen by the Democrats with voter fraud.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Yup just like the one the Supreme Court stole for The Bushwhacker .
    Or are you referring to the not-even-close deathblow that President Obama dealt Mittens last November and that has had you guys in 5-days a week therapy sessions ever since?
    At least when Dems "steal" elections they are "stolen" by actual voters' votes not by backroom deals and SC judges in cohoots with the incumbent.

    November 25, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. len

    Just asking and true conservatives,

    Twisted GOP minds. Provisional ballots counted and people needed to go to the voting office to verify that was thier ballot in order for it to be counted. Get informed.

    November 25, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  20. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Donna – In an earlier post you questioned Rudy, and called him a liar. You were wrong again. During the Iran-Iraq War, the two Bushehr reactors were damaged by multiple Iraqi air strikes and work on the nuclear program came to a standstill. (Wikipedia)

    November 25, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    The GOP needs to do something other than repeatedly saying what they are against. What do they want to accomplish, aside from some broad principles jotted down on a napkin? I don't think they even know. They are so conditioned to thinking tactically that they cannot take a long-term view of anything.

    November 25, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    It is hard for republicans to be constantly wrong and their ideas rejected. They are always in denial of reality . Soon we will hear that the Cooch and Obershain were just too liberal. Next time they will surely run a conservative in VA.

    November 25, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. Name

    Keep your new laws in the south please?

    November 25, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  24. Malory Archer

    But... but.... I thought the "libruls" were "toast"! At least that's the the narrative being sold by CNN & the "librul" these days! How can this be???!!! The only explanation is those "libruls" MUST have cheated!!! How else, despite the rethug/teabag toddlers' best efforts at voter suppression and intimidation could "libruls" have won in Virginia????!!!!

    November 25, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Donna
    Another close election stolen by the Democrats with voter fraud. Why do you think they don't want IDs for voters? All it took was a few hundred fraudulent voters to swing this contest.
    ------------------------------------------
    Stolen huh? Even with the 47,000 purged voters, you guys still lost. You lost Virginia because your candidate was too radical, is running mate was just as radical and the guy running to replace the Cooch was even more radical than the Cooch. One more thing dodo. You don't want to be in an election in a state like ours with a bunch of us military folks and your party is responsible for shutting down the government. That's a recipe for disaster which will hopefully carry out until November 2014 when we completely destroy the Grand Old Party.

    November 25, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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