Oben­shain set to ask for re­count in AG race

Cer­ti­fied to­tal has him 165 votes short

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro - BY MERED­ITH SOMERS

Repub­li­can Mark D. Oben­shain plans to for­mally ask for a re­count of this month’s Vir­ginia at­tor­ney gen­eral’s race that was de­cided by 165 votes.

Mr. Oben­shain is set to make the an­nounce­ment Wed­nes­day in a tele­con­fer­ence hosted by mem­bers of his le­gal team, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment Tues­day from his cam­paign.

The call comes af­ter the Vir­ginia State Board of Elec­tions on Mon­day de­clared Demo­crat Mark R. Her­ring the win­ner in a con­test in which more than 2.2 mil­lion bal­lots were cast.

Repub­li­can Party of Vir­ginia Chair­man Pat Mullins called the re­count “the pru­dent thing to do.”

“I think Mark Oben­shain and his cam­paign have made the right de­ci­sion in requesting a re­count in this his­tor­i­cally close race,” he said. “With only 165 votes be­tween the two can­di­dates out of more than 2.2 mil­lion cast, Vir­gini­ans need to know that the re­sults are as ac­cu­rate as hu­manly pos­si­ble.”

Mr. Her­ring ac­knowl­edged in a state­ment that it was within his op­po­nent’s right to call for a re­count.

“His tac­tics, how­ever, will not im­pede our ef­forts to build the finest team to serve all Vir­gini­ans in the Of­fice of At­tor­ney Gen­eral or pre­pare for the 2014 leg­isla­tive ses­sion.”

The Demo­crat on Tues­day named mem­bers of his inau­gu­ral com­mit­tee. Both can­di­dates have put tran­si­tion teams in place.

The Oben­shain cam­paign has pointed out that in the past 13 years, four statewide elec­tions na­tion­wide have had mar­gins of fewer than 300 votes, and in all four of those elec­tions “the re­sults were re­versed in a re­count.”

Vir­ginia House Speaker Wil­liam J. Howell, Stafford Repub­li­can, called the

de­ci­sion to pur­sue a re­count the “right one.”

“Like many oth­ers, I have heard con­cerns from vot­ers across the Com­mon­wealth that in a race sep­a­rated by seven one-thou­sandths of a per­cent, we must take ex­tra care to en­sure an ac­cu­rate re­sult,” he said in a state­ment. “I can­not imagine a more ap­pro­pri­ate use of Vir­ginia’s re­count laws.”

When a re­count is called, the State Board of Elec­tions first sets the stan­dards for the han­dling, se­cu­rity and ac­cu­racy of the tally.

A three-mem­ber “re­count court” is formed in Rich­mond and is headed by the chief judge of the Rich­mond Cir­cuit Court. Two ad­di­tional cir­cuit court judges are ap­pointed to the board by the chief jus­tice of the Vir­ginia Supreme Court.

The re­count court sets the stan­dards for de­ter­min­ing the ac­cu­racy of the votes and cer­ti­fies the elec­tion re­sults.

Its rul­ing is fi­nal and can­not be ap­pealed, ac­cord­ing to Vir­ginia law.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Repub­li­can Mark D. Oben­shain will for­mally ask for a re­count Wed­nes­day of the Nov. 5 elec­tion for Vir­ginia at­tor­ney gen­eral, a race he lost by 165 votes out of 2.2 mil­lion cast for Demo­crat Mark R. Her­ring.

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