In the week since Election Day, the lead in Virginia’s razor-thin, still undecided attorney general’s race has seesawed. First the Democrat, Mark R. Herring, was up by 32. Then the Republican, Mark D. Obenshain, went ahead by 55 as of Saturday night. He was ahead by 17 Sunday night. On Monday, after the discovery of a voting machine in Richmond that apparently had not been counted, Mr. Herring retook the lead by 117 votes in a race with 2.2 million ballots cast. The final results, almost certainly headed to a recount that could take until late December, will determine if Democrats made a clean sweep of statewide offices after claiming the governor’s and lieutenant governor’s races last week, or a Republican will fill the job that has often been a steppingstone to the governor’s office. The count has fluctuated as local election boards review the ballots first reported after the polls closed Nov. 5, as well as provisional ballots sealed in green envelopes. Local city and county boards have until midnight Tuesday to certify their results.
The Richmond electoral board reviewed its results on Monday in a handful of precincts after a request by Republicans, who were suspicious that reported turnout in the Democratic-leaning city was higher than historic trends.
As officials reviewed tape from individual voting machines, lawyers from both parties looked on and journalists posted the results on Twitter machine by machine. The initial outcome was disappointing to Republicans. An unofficial count by David Wasserman, an editor with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, gave Mr. Herring a gain of 116 votes in Precinct 501, where one voting machine apparently had not been counted on Election Day.