Home 2017 Races Latest Update on Virginia House of Delegates Recounts

Latest Update on Virginia House of Delegates Recounts

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The following is from Trent Armitage of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. My only quibble with this, and it’s actually a pretty big one: here at Blue Virginia, we actually DID think about picking up massive numbers of House of Delegates seats. See If Ben Tribbett’s Historic Virginia “Swing” Scenario Is Correct, We COULD See Major House of Delegates Pickups for Dems This November. from back in March. So, actually, both Ben Tribbett and yours truly WERE thinking about this; personally, I backed off a bit because based on the polls it didn’t look like Northam would win big, because his campaign relentlessly lowered expectations (I was told by a senior Northam campaign person – last name starts with the letter “T,” ahem – that there was NO WAY Northam would win by more than 3 points, and that anyone who thought so had no clue what they were talking about), etc. Well, guess who was right (people like Ben Tribbett and me) and who was wrong (the Northam campaign folks who insisted on their plus/minus 3 points scenario and minimal House of Delegates pickups scenario)?  Hmmmm.

P.S. Ben Tribbett tweets, “In Newport News- where HD94 takes up half of city- Dems picked up 64 votes in AG recount, GOP got 4. As I keep saying better than 50-50 that the House will be 50-50.” Now, here’s the email from Trent Armitage of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus…

Friend –

As you know, there were six races with the potential for recounts. The good news is that both Del.-Elect Dawn Adams and Del.-Elect Cheryl Turpin are now safe from a potential Republican challenge. They put us at 49 seats in the House of Delegates — a pick up of 15 seats from where we were just a few days ago. Not one single pundit even thought about us picking up 15 seats, but our candidates proved the pundits wrong and with the help of tens of thousands of volunteers and supporters make the biggest gain Democrats have made in the House of Delegates since the 1800’s.

Sadly, Larry Barnett came up just short in Chesterfield County and has conceded his race. This was a district that pundits expected the incumbent to win handily, but Larry came within a few handfuls of votes of pulling this out. He’s a class act and I fully expect to see him continue his public service in the future.

That leaves three races, with Josh Cole, Donte Tanner and Shelly Simonds as our Democratic candidates, that are too close to call.

We will continue to investigate, track down provisional ballot voters, and make sure that every voice is heard and every vote is countedin these three districts. If just one district turns our direction, we’d have a tied House of Delegates — if two change our way, we’d have the first Democratic majority in nearly 20 years.

Thank you very much for your support — this has been a fantastic year, but we’re not finished until every voter has had their vote properly counted.

Sincerely,

Trent Armitage
Executive Director
Virginia House Democrats

  • old_redneck

    I hope someone in DPVA or some Chesterfield Democrats are looking into the situation described below.

    Every municipality in Virginia uses electronic pollbooks. That is, the list of registered, eligible voters is in electronic format on laptop computers at each polling place. Voters show ID and are checked in on the laptop(s). Most municipalities also provide a printed paper pollbook as backup.

    If the electronic poll book (EPB) crashes, then, election officials switch to the paper pollbook. HOWEVER: Every voter who checks in on the paper pollbook must vote a provisional ballot, because, without access to the computer records, there is no way to prove that a voter has not already voted.

    I understand that at one Chesterfield precinct in a middle school, someone screwed up and shut down the EPB mid-afternoon, hours before the polls closed. If this is the case, there will be several hundred provisionals at that precinct.

    Voters who voted provisional have until noon Monday to prove their eligibility to the local Electoral Board.

    Electoral Boards consider each provisional ballot and decide whether to count it or reject it. In this case, the Board will have to check each provisional to ensure that person who cast it is a registered voter and did not vote previously by checking in on the EPB — THIS WILL BE A LONG, DETAILED PROCESS.

    There is nothing magic about the noon Monday deadline — the local Electoral Board can extend the deadline.

    I hope someone is looking into this matter in Chesterfield to ensure their Electoral Board takes all the time they need to examine these provisionals.

    • Kenneth Ferland

      I don’t think that’s right, at my rural precinct the grandmothers that work the polls have always just used paper and our results get counted and posted promptly, no sign at all that using the paper list automatically makes a ballot provisional.

      Also your logic that ‘without access to the computer records, there is no way to prove that a voter has not already voted’ dose not make sense either. The paper list dose in fact do just that, they cross your name off after you vote and you have only one polling place you can vote at.

  • linda1pebv

    I’ve spent all of the last 5 months and most of the last 10 working with
    and for House of Delegate races. Tom said as early as the primary that
    we could Flip the House and in collaboration with the visionaries at
    Win Virginia made that his mission after the Primary. There is plenty
    of credit to go around, believe me and I say this not just about the
    races we won, but also the races where we worked our hearts out, came up
    short, but energized more Democrats than the Commonwealth of Virginia
    has seen at the polls in an off year election possibly ever. There are
    so many heroes and heroines out there that you will probably never know
    but with all of us pulling in the same direction, we made the impossible
    possible. We need to focus on supporting these last 3 candidates going to recount. But for now thanks to each and every one of you that enabled ‘the possible’.
    We’re just getting started….

    • Secret weapon (aside from all Team Perriello’s hard work and dedication): your chocolate chip cookies, which helped fuel the Democratic resurgence in Virginia this year. 🙂

  • Paul Jameson

    I got the distinct sense that the Northam campaign felt that constantly emphasizing how tight the race was, was necessary to keep people on their toes, while at the same time they were putting out polling summaries that showed they were likely to do fine. Others thought that projecting the image of a winner would be better, because people like to join the winning side.

    Also, David Toscano gave a PowerPoint at a DemBiz meeting just before the election that was fairly upbeat on House races.

    On the ground, it long felt to me like it was going to be a blowout, mainly on the basis of the relative energy of Democrats and Republicans, so I was thinking that if it turns out that Republicans do well it meant that our sense of how it looked on the ground was a worthless data point. Guess it wasn’t.

  • Hugo may or may not have held this seat, pending recount, but to say he received a “clear margin of victory” when the vote is 15,104-14,989 and when Hugo trailed on election night is simply absurd. Hugo is a slimeball through and through…

    Delegate Tim Hugo Re-Elected to House of Delegates

    Fairfax, VA – Delegate Tim Hugo has been re-elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. The voters have spoken and, with a clear margin of victory, it is now evident that Delegate Tim Hugo will serve an 8th term as the Delegate to Virginia’s 40th District.

    “I would like to thank our supporters, our dedicated volunteers, and our tireless campaign staff for all of their efforts. We would not be where we are without them,” said Delegate Hugo. “I will be returning to Richmond to continue what I have been doing for the past 14 years – working to improve the quality of life for my constituents who I have the honor of representing. Lastly, I would like to thank my opponent Donte Tanner. It is not easy being in the political arena and his willingness to participate in the democratic process should be applauded. I wish him and his family all the best.”

    Delegate Hugo was first elected in a special election in 2002. He serves as the House Majority Caucus Chairman and serves on the Commerce & Labor, Finance, Transportation (Vice Chairman), and Privileges & Elections committees. The 40th District includes parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties.

  • Del. Kaye Kory (D):

    As you know, there were six races with the potential for recounts. The good news is that both Del.-Elect Dawn Adams and Del.-Elect Cheryl Turpin are now safe from a potential Republican challenge. They put us at 49 seats in the House of Delegates — a pick up of 15 seats from where we were just a few days ago. Not one single pundit even thought about us picking up 15 seats, but our candidates proved the pundits wrong and with the help of tens of thousands of volunteers and supporters make the biggest gain Democrats have made in the House of Delegates since the 1800’s.

    Sadly, Larry Barnett came up just short in Chesterfield County and has conceded his race. This was a district that pundits expected the incumbent to win handily, but Larry came within a few handfuls of votes of pulling this out. He’s a class act and I fully expect to see him continue his public service in the future.

    That leaves three races, with Josh Cole, Donte Tanner and Shelly Simonds as our Democratic candidates, that are too close to call.

    We will continue to investigate, track down provisional ballot voters, and make sure that every voice is heard and every vote is counted in these three districts. If just one district turns our direction, we’d have a tied House of Delegates — if two change our way, we’d have the first Democratic majority in nearly 20 years.

    Thank you very much for your support — this has been a fantastic year, but we’re not finished until every voter has had their vote properly counted.