CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The results are technically official. The Democrats sweep three big races in Virginia, claiming the office of Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General.
But, with only 165 votes separating the Attorney General candidates, a certified election might not mean much of anything about who got the job.
The certification was a standard process, but perhaps the most interesting moment was when the Chair, Charles Judd, stepped aside and made a personal comment, saying he, "has some questions about the integrity of the data, and we intend to explore that some even in our meeting next week. I'm concerned about the integrity of the data. I'm concerned about the lack of uniformity around that data across the state."
Judd also expressed concern about how ballots were counted and whether they were counted the same way everywhere.
"Were there envelopes without a signature that were counted or were there envelopes with a signature that were counted?" said Judd. "Those kinds of things. We would just like to get some clarification."
But despite all those questions, the chair was quick to point out, that what he said in here will have no bearing on who gets to go to work down there as Attorney General. He says these election results are certified.
But that doesn't mean the Attorney General's race is a done deal either. The board no longer has a say, but Mark Obenshain could request a recount. And a statement from Obenshain's team implies he is considering that request.
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Statement from Obenshain Campaign on Completion of State Board of Elections Vote Count
Mark Obenshain for Attorney General Campaign Manager Chris Leavitt issued the following statement regarding the Completion of the State Board of Elections vote tally.
"With the completion of the State Board of Elections vote tally, this initial count shows the narrowest percent vote differential of any U.S. statewide race in the 21st century and the closest statewide election in modern Virginia history. We're all grateful for the election officials and volunteers across Virginia who have worked overtime as this tabulation of votes is completed. As it currently stands, the 165 vote margin out of more than 2.2 million votes cast is well within the margin that could be potentially closed in a recount. There have been four statewide elections in the U.S. since 2000 that finished within a 300 vote margin. In three of those four statewide elections the results were reversed in a recount.
"Over the next few days, we will continue to review these results. Margins this small are why Virginia law provides a process for a recount. However, a decision to request a recount, even in this historically close election, is not one to be made lightly. Virginia law allows ten days to request a recount. 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."
HERRING STATEMENT ON STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS CERTIFYING HIM AS THE NEXT ATTORNEY GENERAL OF VIRGINIA
Attorney General-elect Mark Herring released a statement following the State Board of Elections certifying him as the next Attorney General of Virginia:
"I am gratified that the State Board of Elections today certified me the winner of a close but fair election. I look forward to serving the people of Virginia as Attorney General. I want to thank and commend the State Board, local voter registrars and election officials, their extraordinary staff and volunteers for their diligent and professional work to bring this historic election to a close. There is no greater American duty than to simply ensure that every voter may freely exercise his or her right to vote, and no greater American tradition than to make sure that that vote is counted.