A law championed by Democrat Creigh Deeds could give Republican Mark Obenshain the tools to erase Mark Herring’s 165-vote margin in Virgina’s attorney general’s race, Watchdog.org reported. Deeds, who lost the AG contest to Bob McDonnell in 2005 by 360 votes, subsequently authored legislation requiring all optical scan ballots be re-run in the event of a recount, and that ballots containing write-in votes, undervotes or overvotes be hand-counted. In 2005, the ballots were only re-run in precincts that had identified problems. “This is new territory for Virginia and a margin well within the range in which recounts have changed the vote lead,” Obenshain spokesman Paul Logan said.
Obenshain, in a statement, said that since 2000, three out of four U.S. elections with margins under 300 votes have been reversed.
Around the nation, statewide recounts between 2000 and 2009 resulted in an average margin swing of 296 votes between the frontrunners, representing 0.027 percent of the statewide vote in those elections, according to the Center for Voting and Democracy.
A total of 165 votes, 0.007 percent of the Virginia total, was Herring’s margin of victory certified Monday by the State Board of Elections.