Well I guess the saying “every vote counts” is ringing true in Virginia today. The Virginia State Board of Elections has certified Democrat Mark Herring’s 165-vote lead in the Attorney General race. With this victory, there is now a completed Democratic victory in the 5 statewide offices that had elections this year in Virginia.
According to state law, the Republican, Mark Obenshain, has 10 days to decide whether he wants to ask for a recount. Concerns were raised earlier this month about how provisional ballots were being counted in (Democratic-leaning) Faifax County.
In the past Virginia was known as a red state, but over the past several election cycles it appears that it is now purple and perhaps even on its way to being completely blue. Close elections are not a rarity in Virginia though. Now that the state is split on its political affiliation, many recent elections have been too close to call on election night. In 2005 the Republican ended up winning the Attorney General race by 360 votes after picking up 37 votes in a recount defeat.
With so few votes separating the two candidates, this must be an awfully tough choice for Mr. Obenshain to make. This is a choice that should be made carefully and one must consider the pros and cons of taking on this recount.
UPDATE:Mark Obenshain plans to request a recount in the AG race on Wednesday morning, according to his campaign. Out of 2.2 million votes cast on election day, only 165 separating the two contenders, it makes sense for the election board to take another look.