The Democratic candidate for Virginia attorney general has maintained his thin lead over the Republican hopeful after the state certified the Nov. 5 ballot.
The State Board of Elections in Richmond completed its certification Monday, showing Mark Herring with a 165-vote edge over the GOP's Mark Obenshain.
Herring held a 165-vote edge over Obenshain before the certification. Obenshain has 10 days to decide whether he'll seek a recount.
Both men have dug in, with each announcing transition teams. Virginia has no automatic recount, but the trailing candidate can seek a recount at taxpayer expense if the margin between winner and loser is less than one-half of 1 percent.
Both men are seeking to succeed Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who failed in his Republican bid for governor.
“With the completion of the State Board of Elections vote tally, this initial count shows the narrowest percent vote differential of any U.S. statewide race in the 21st century and the closest statewide election in modern Virginia history. We’re all grateful for the election officials and volunteers across Virginia who have worked overtime as this tabulation of votes is completed. As it currently stands, the 165 vote margin out of more than 2.2 million votes cast is well within the margin that could be potentially closed in a recount. There have been four statewide elections in the U.S. since 2000 that finished within a 300 vote margin. In three of those four statewide elections the results were reversed in a recount.
“Over the next few days, we will continue to review these results. Margins this small are why Virginia law provides a process for a recount. However, a decision to request a recount, even in this historically close election, is not one to be made lightly. Virginia law allows ten days to request a recount. We will make further announcements regarding a recount well within that time, in order to ensure the closure and confidence in the results that Virginians deserve.”
“I am gratified that the State Board of Elections today certified me the winner of a close but fair election. I look forward to serving the people of Virginia as Attorney General. I want to thank and commend the State Board, local voter registrars and election officials, their extraordinary staff and volunteers for their diligent and professional work to bring this historic election to a close. There is no greater American duty than to simply ensure that every voter may freely exercise his or her right to vote, and no greater American tradition than to make sure that that vote is counted.
“Today, we move forward to tackle some of the unique challenges of our era which fall under the auspices of the next Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our guiding principle will be to put the law and Virginians first, instead of adherence to extreme ideology. In the areas of public safety, veterans services, civil rights, consumer and small business protections, and ethics in our public sphere, significant progress can and will be made for Virginians."