With more than 2.2 million votes cast, the margin between Mark Obenshain (R) and Mark Herring (D) has been within a few hundred votes since Election Night on Tuesday. Within the last few hours, an unexplained discrepancy has been discovered by those combing over the reported numbers in Fairfax County. The county leans heavily Democratic and, unlike much of the rest of the state which uses 100% unverifiable touch-screen, Fairfax uses optically-scanned paper ballots for its main vote tabulation system. After Democrats reportedly won both the Governor and Lt. Governor races, only the AG’s remains undecided at the top of the ticket. For the last 24 hours or so, the Republican Obenshain has been leading during the canvassing of ballots by about 700 votes, as absentee and provisionals are tallied and doubled-checked. But now, thanks to some smart detective work by both a Democratic political team in Fairfax County and by Dave Wasserman of the non-partisan Cook Political Report, the fortunes for the Democrat candidate Herring may just have taken a big turn, even as a new mystery is added to the equation.
… “The more I look at the data, the totality of the evidence points towards the likelihood that there are [approximately] 3,000 untallied Fairfax Co. votes,”tweeted Dave Wasserman, political analyst at the Cook Political Report, tonight. He’s been going over the state’s reported numbers with a fine tooth comb — and a publicly crowd-sourced Google spreadsheet — since Election Night.
“And if there are indeed [approximately] 3,000 missing Fairfax #VA08 absentee votes, that’d almost certainly be the miracle Herring (D) needs to pull ahead,” hecontinued. “What a complete reversal of fortune in #VAAG race in just the last few hours.”