The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

UPDATE: As of Monday night, Herring leads Obenshain by 117 votes.

State Senator Mark Obenshain (R) now leads State Senator Mark Herring (D) by just 17 votes in Virginia’s election for attorney general, according to updated results from the Virginia Board of Elections.

On the morning after last Tuesday’s election, Obenshain held a minuscule lead of under 600 votes. Since then, the counting of provisional ballots has seen his lead grow to more than 1,200 votes, and now back down to just 17 out of more than 2.2 million cast.

If the final tally at Tuesday’s midnight deadline finds the two candidates within one percent of each other — a near certainty at this point — then an official recount would take place, meaning that it may take weeks for Virginians to know which candidate will replace outgoing attorney general Ken Cuccinelli.

Such a recount would surely be filled with legal wrangling and political intrigue. The process got off to a rocky start over the weekend, when the Republican-controlled electoral board made a last-second change to the rules governing how provisional ballots in Democratic-leaning Fairfax County will be counted. WTOP reports:

The state Electoral Board decided Friday to change the rules that had been followed in Fairfax County and ban legal representatives from stepping in to help get the ballot counted, unless the voter him or herself is there.

County Electoral Board Secretary Brian Shoeneman says he and board chairman Seth Stark disagree with the ruling, but they have to comply. The board is voting on some provisional ballots later Saturday.

“The office of the Attorney General advised us that this was the correct reading of the statute,” State Board of Elections Secretary Don Palmer says.

As Rick Hasen points out at his Election Law Blog, ” it appears the directive came out after most of the provisional ballots (outside of Democratic Fairfax and Arlington counties) have already been counted—and it is not clear if the other counties used uniform standards in counting provisional ballots.” The timing of the rule change — and the fact that it came from Cuccinelli, who is no stranger to politically-motivated legal moves — raises the question of whether Virginia Republicans were hoping to swing the result of the election.

Photo: Gary Cope via Flickr

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Lt. Gov. Janice McEachin

The Republican Party’s radical right flank is making inroads among voters and winning key primaries east of the Mississippi. But out West, among the five states that held their 2022 primary elections on May 17, a string of GOP candidates for office who deny the 2020’s presidential election results and have embraced various conspiracies were rejected by Republicans who voted for more mainstream conservatives.

In Pennsylvania, Douglas Mastriano, an election denier and white nationalist, won the GOP’s nomination for governor. He received 568,000 votes, which was 44.1 percent of the vote in a low turnout primary. One-quarter of Pennsylvania’s nine million registered voters cast ballots.

Keep reading... Show less

Rep. Ted Budd, left, and Cheri Beasley

On Tuesday, North Carolina Republicans selected Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), a far-right extremist who has pushed false claims about the 2020 election, to be their Senate nominee. He will face Democratic nominee Cheri Beasley, a former chief justice of the state's Supreme Court.

As of Wednesday morning, Budd had received more than 58 percent of the GOP primary vote. Former Gov. Pat McCrory received just below 25 percent of the vote, while former Rep. Mark Walker received about nine percent of the vote.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}