The Lynchburg region cast just over 3 percent of the votes that will be counted — again — next week to determine who will be Virginia’s next attorney general. Each of the localities gave Republican Mark Obenshain a healthy majority over Democrat Mark Herring, ranging from 53 percent of votes cast in Lynchburg to 75 percent in Bedford and Campbell counties. Obenshain, who lost by 165 votes out of 2.2 million cast in the Nov. 5 election, asked for a recount. It will be conducted Monday and Tuesday in each city and county, at local-government expense. Voter registrars said the recount will take roughly half a day in the four counties surrounding Lynchburg, because they use touch-screen voting machines that recorded vote totals on printed tapes. Those tapes can be tabulated again in just a few hours, according to the registrars in Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell counties. But in the Hill City, where two-thirds of the voters chose to use paper ballots, election officials are preparing for an all-day job requiring them to run 13,000 paper ballots through a scanning machine again. A few hundred ballots, mostly absentee ballots sent by mail, will be counted by hand.
That means a 7 a.m. start on the recount in the court clerk’s office, interrupted only for box lunches, city registrar Carolyn Sherayko said.
The Richmond court that’s overseeing the statewide recount ordered that election officials be paid two-thirds of the amount they were paid for working the polls on Election Day.
Sherayko said she gave an early estimate of $2,300 for the city’s cost on the recount, but after making detailed plans for the task, “I think it’s going to be more than that,” she said.
Expenses include everything from paper clips to a case of bottled water and the lunches, Sherayko said.