Amid wild rumors, frantic fundraising and legal maneuvering, Virginia’s attorney general election hangs in the balance. Shades of Florida 2000? As of Thursday afternoon, Republican Mark Obenshain held a 681 vote lead over Democrat Mark Herring, out of 2.2 million ballots cast. But more ballots are still out there. Thousands of provisional votes — 492 in Fairfax County alone — have yet to be counted. Both parties are gearing up for a county-by-county fight to include or exclude those ballots, which were cast by people who didn’t present legally permissible identification at the polls. All these battles come before the inevitable statewide recount. Virginia election results are due to be finalized Nov. 25.
Voters have until Friday to bring a copy of their ID to their local electoral board and explain why they voted provisionally.
Brian Schoeneman, secretary of the electoral board in Fairfax County, the commonwealth’s largest, said voters can be represented by legal counsel.
“These are closed meetings, but the political parties are allowed a single representative to observe,” Schoeneman told Watchdog.org.
“The staff also reviews every provisional vote to determine why the individual had to vote that way, and that information is presented to the board in open session.