Hundreds of Votes Separate Obenshain, Herring - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

Hundreds of Votes Separate Obenshain, Herring

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FAIRFAX COUNTY (WRIC) – It's been three days since the election and there's still no Attorney General. There are only hundreds of votes separating the candidates.

Republican Mark Obenshain leads by less than 800 votes over Democrat Mark Herring, but the Fairfax County Electoral Board says the unofficial number of absentee ballots is off by about 2,000. Now some political analysts say it could be well into next year before the state officially has an attorney general.

The Fairfax County Electoral Board says things aren't adding up in the county's eighth district. The unofficial count of absentee ballots tallied in that district was 5,293, nearly 2,000 less than the number of absentees that were expected.

The Board's secretary says it's clearly an error as officials spent the day canvassing absentee ballots.

The potentially missing votes come from a district that is heavily democratic, and some believe could be the difference in a razor thin race.

Political analyst Richard Meagher says if the race gets even tighter, not only is a recount probable, but the race could end up in court as both candidates fight to have some votes counted, and others thrown out.

"So some people are arguing that if these numbers hold up, the numbers that we think are missing, and can be found, that that could be enough to put Mark Herring into the lead," he says. "Then whoever is the loser, whoever is below may try to proceed further in the courts to bring up appeals to sort of further the battle, if there's a chance of victory."

A recount could take weeks, and Meagher says a legal battle could take even longer.

"We could see extend out into the next year when other members, other people are taking office."

The State Board of Elections sent a statement saying:

"Canvassing activities are continuing today and fluctuations will occur as a part of this process. That is normal and to be expected."

They say more information should be available on tuesday. 

Meanwhile both campaigns are coming out saying in the end they believe their candidate will prevail.

 

Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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