Democrat Mark R. Herring continued to widen his lead over Republican Mark D. Obenshain on the second day of the statewide recount in the race for attorney general. As ballots were being counted Tuesday, Herring was 866 votes ahead of Obenshain by 7 p.m., said Herring’s legal counsel Marc Elias. “We continue to gain margin at a steady pace, and we expect to continue to do so through the rest of the recount,” Elias told reporters Tuesday. “We become more confident as this recount progresses.” Less than 120 ballots had been challenged by partisan election officials to be sent to the Richmond Circuit Court, where a three-judge panel will begin reviewing them Thursday. Of 133 localities statewide, 98 had finished their tallies by 6 p.m. Tuesday.
If Herring keeps his momentum and the number of challenged ballots does not exceed his net gain of votes, he could be the unofficial winner by midnight tonight, the deadline for localities to submit any ballots in dispute.
But even if Herring maintains his edge, election officials will not stop until the canvass and review is complete and the recount court certifies the results, said Don Palmer, secretary of the State Board of Elections.