We’re coming down the home stretch in the Virginia Attorney General’s race, at least prior to any possible recount. Here’s the latest, with Democrat Mark Herring leading Republican Mark Obenshain according to the State Board of Elections website by 117 votes (1,103,610-1,103,493).
UPDATE 9:39 pm: @amaxsmith tweets,” Hand count. +2 Herring in 11th. +2 Herring in 10th; +3 obenshain.” @jeisrael of ThinkProgress tweets, “With Herring winning hand counts 4 to 3, Herring gains 57 in Fairfax and wins by 163 votes out of 2M+” @notlarrysabato tweets, “Final score going into recount. Herring 1,103,778. Obenshain 1,103,615.”
UPDATE 9:36 pm: Julie Carey tweets, “JUST IN: UNOFFICIAL on #FairfaxCo provisionals. Herring 156, Obenshain 100 and 7 ballots left to handcount.” And with that, MARK HERRING WILL SHORTLY BE CERTIFIED AS THE WINNER OF THE VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL’S RACE! Woo-hoo! 🙂
UPDATE 9:31 pm: @amaxsmith tweets, “Tapes running 60 Herring 48 obenshain in 11th. Still without hand counts…In 10th it’s 29-18 Herring over obenshain” @CamThompsonWNEW tweets, “For the 8th: 67 for Herring. 34 for Obenshain.”
UPDATE 9:28 pm: @BettinaLawton tweets, “#Fairfaxfinale torn ballots and write – ins are delaying the results”
UPDATE 9:26 pm: Sorry Ben, but I’ve got to strongly agree with Julie Carey on this one! LOL https://twitter.com/JulieCarey…
UPDATE 9:13 pm: @amaxsmith tweets, “Some of the ballots are jamming or getting error messages from machines. One ballot came up as over voted in #vaag. Observers watching.” @CamThompsonWNEW tweets, “10th Congressional District is done minus the ones that need to be hand-counted”
UPDATE 9:09 pm: The State Board of Elections website is now updated, showing a 106-vote lead for Mark Herring. I believe all that’s left is Fairfax County, but not 100% sure (others, including Ben Tribett, say that’s all the counties, other than Fairfax).
UPDATE 9:07 pm: @JulieCareyNBC tweets, “Progress! Provisional ballots are now going into the scanners.” @ClinicEscort tweets, “Now the members of the board will eat dinner, walk their dogs, do their taxes, before counting.”
UPDATE 8:59 pm: @notlarrysabato tweets, “All other localities have CERTIFIED results. This is it. (That doesn’t mean SBE has reported all)” Ben is also doing a “best and worst dressed” list. I’m glad I’m safely at home! LOL
UPDATE 8:53 pm: @amaxsmith tweets, “Each sealed ballot being opened, put into box per congressional district. Only then are they fed thru machine and we learn vote ct.” Are we having fun yet? 😉
UPDATE 8:37 pm: @JulieCareyNBC tweets, “FINALLY, they are firing up the vote scanning machines, testing them before running ballots through.” What next, are they going to use an abacus to tally the results and a carrier pigeon to report them to the State Board of Elections in Richmond? (snark)
UPDATE 8:32 pm: Max Smith tweets, “Board will now start opening accepted provisional ballots.”
UPDATE 8:23 pm: @notlarrysabato tweets, “Still not counting votes, electoral board answering press questions now first.” OK, this is a complete farce. Like a really REALLY bad cliffhanger movie. Ugh.
UPDATE 8:18 pm: Max Smith tweets, “Check that. One ballot rejected 2-1. 4 provs were tossed. 489 adjudicated, 271 accepted. Now go to counting… #Fairfax electoral board now says final count may take until close to midnight.” Julie Carey tweets, “The #FairfaxCo Electoral Bd vote was unanimous on all the ballots except 1 says @BrianSchoeneman”
UPDATE 8:15 pm: @amaxsmith tweets, “With 271 accepted, it leaves 222 that we are hearing ID nos now to be rejected. Unanimous (3-0). GOP calls it constitutional problem.” @notlarrysabato tweets, “Fairfax Republicans say once these votes are tabulated they can’t be segregated later for disqualification.” @JulieCareyNBC tweets, “GOP lawyer continues protest & warns ‘What is about to happen is irrevocable…this is a done deal, there is no fix to this.'”
UPDATE 8:13 pm: Good question by @frankoanderson of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee – “So then, why was the GOP trying to get their provisional voters to come in if they objected to it?” Peggy Fox of WUSA9 tweets, “Bd reading 271 accepted ballot numbers, 222 rejected. Count to start soon; gloomy mood here w/ GOP objection raised”
UPDATE 8:07 pm: Max Smith tweets, “Board says voter supposed to get benefit of the doubt, and that’s what they’ve done. 271 ballots about to be accepted.” Julie Carey tweets, “Democratic lawyer calls GOP objections ‘thoroughly and totally without merit.'” Max Smith tweets, “271 ballots accepted unanimously. Count will come later #vaag. Now on to rejected” Ben Tribbett adds, “Both Republicans on board reject Fairfax GOP argument. 3-0 unanimous vote.” Seems to me that Republican lawyers are setting up for a possible court challenge…laying down their arguments/protests now for the record.
UPDATE 8:05 pm: Max Smith tweets, “GOP also objects over check box voters were supposed to hit that they are not registered elsewhere asks for delay for certification.” @JulieCareyNBC tweets, “Electoral Bd Secy Brian Schoeneman responds: ‘I’m a Republican. We have scrupulously followed the spirit and letter of the law.’…Schoeneman continues: Says Board has exercised its discretion. The fact that other Boards haven’t, does not create equal protection issue.”
UPDATE 8:01 pm: Commence whining. @JulieCareyNBC tweets, “‘Fairfax Co, voters are receiving more lenient, preferential treatment,’ complains GOP attny & says ballots were accepted that weren’t signed.” Max Smith tweets, “GOP rep says the extra time for provisional voters in Fairfax definitely made a difference in whether some ballots accepted.” Oh god no, can’t have THAT! (snark) @notlarrysabato (Ben Tribbett) tweets, “Miller Baker [Republican who ran for State Senate in 2011] is objecting to Fairfax allowing provisional ballots for voters who appeared this weekend instead of before Friday…Republicans complain about ‘lenient’ treatment for Fairfax voters by this board.”
UPDATE 7:58 pm: @Taniel tweets, “4 counties have already sent in new provisional ballot results today, & Obenshain netted 13 votes in them. So Herring’s lead stands at 104.”
UPDATE 7:52 pm: @JulieCareyNBC tweets, “The Electoral Board has finally arrived. Here we go.”
UPDATE 7:51 pm: @Taniel tweets, “New Kent’s provisional ballots: Obenshain 5, Herring 0. Spotsylvania’s: Obenshain 8, Herring 0. Russell’s: Obenshain 2, Herring 1.”
UPDATE 7:39 pm: Fairfax County Board of Elections member @BrianSchoeneman tweets, “We have completed adjudication. We are doing the math and pulling the accepteds for opening and counting. Open session will start shortly…Please wait for actual numbers from me before reporting anything. We will be on the record here shortly.”
UPDATE 7:32 pm: And this drags on and on. Ugh. Max Smith tweets, “tools of trade: pen, letter opener, calculator out for each bd member. They have to open provs, agree on total.” Yes, this is the 21st century in the United States of America. At least I think it is! Heh.
UPDATE 7:24 pm: @VAPolitical tweets, “Hey @washingtonpost who is covering the Virginia Attorney General count in Fairfax? Don’t see anyone on Twitter.” Maybe they’re all busy trying to figure out what the heck Richard Cohen was blathering about this morning? Even better, maybe Jeff Bezos fired them all? LOL
UPDATE 7:23 pm: @Taniel (PhD student formerly at The Atlantic) tweets, “Even if he hadn’t gained votes in Richmond yesterday, Herring would only have had to win Fairfax’s 275 accepted provs by 6%. Very doable.”
UPDATE 7:17 pm: @amaxsmith tweets, “This will be very choreographed. Machines open to prove they’re empty, each accepted ballot opened by bd mbr& put in box, each box tallied.”
UPDATE 7:13 pm: Hatzel Vela of WJLA7 (@hatzelvela) tweets, “Provisional ballots brought into room where they will be counted in front of cameras.” Max Smith of WTOP adds, “they should give official number when they get down here. Only unofficial final nos so far.”
UPDATE 7:04 pm: From Michael Sluss (@MichaelSlussRT) of the Roanoke Times 30 minutes ago, “Interesting provisional tally from #rke on SBE site. For #vaag, Obenshain 26, Herring 18. For #vagov, McAuliffe 20, Cuccinelli 18, Sarvis 6.”
UPDATE 7:03 pm: From Julie Carey (@JulieCareyNBC) of NBC4, “Here come the provisional ballots. Counting to begin soon.” Also from Julie Carey 7 minutes ago, “The #FairfaxCo electoral board is finished but things sound a bit contentious. Expecting them to go into open session in 15 min.” Finally, “No vote totals yet but unofficially 275 provisional ballots were accepted by #FairfaxCo electoral Bd, 218 rejected. Awaiting count.”
UPDATE 7:02 pm: From Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) of the Cook Political Report, 34 minutes ago: “It is quite unusual that all 22 provisional ballots in Montgomery Co. (Blacksburg) were counted.”
UPDATE 6:58 pm: From WTOP reporter @amaxsmith 10m “Fairfax electoral board is done voting on provisionals. Statement then opening ballots in just a few mins.” Also, “all local boards must certify by midnight. State has until Nov 25. Then loser can ask for recount”