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Connolly's Lead Widens After Malfunctioning Machines Are Examined

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Republican challenger Keith Fimian ended election night without conceding, telling his supporters to be ready to fight for the election again in the morning. The Virginia Board of Elections says it won't call the race until Nov. 22.
Jonathan Wilson
Republican challenger Keith Fimian ended election night without conceding, telling his supporters to be ready to fight for the election again in the morning. The Virginia Board of Elections says it won't call the race until Nov. 22.

In Northern Virginia's 11th Congressional District election administrators have finished retrieving votes from the two machines malfunctioned last night--and the results show Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly expanding his slim margin over Republican challenger Keith Fimian.

Connolly won both of the precincts in question--Lorton Center and Laurel Hill--and with 100 percent of precincts reporting, holds a 820 vote lead over Fimian.

Connolly claimed victory last night when the lead was under 500 votes. His campaign manager says the campaign was confident then that both of the precincts in question were Democratic-leaning areas.

The Virginia State Board of Elections won't certify the results until Nov. 22. After that, since the margin is under one percentage point, Fimian will be able to request a recount.

Fimian has not yet conceded the race, or said whether he'll seek a recount.

Connolly campaign manager James Walkinshaw says Virginia recounts rarely reveal significant changes in results.

"In 2005, Creigh Deeds, and his election [for Virginia Attorney General]--about 30 votes changed, statewide," Walkinshaw says. "So we're pretty comfortable with the margin that we have."

Fimian's campaign says the race is still too close to call, since post-election canvassing could still change vote totals, and provisional ballots have yet to be counted.

This post has been updated.

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