Recount In Virginia Attorney General Race To Be Unlike Any Previous Effort | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Recount In Virginia Attorney General Race To Be Unlike Any Previous Effort

Play associated audio
Mark Herring says that he's Virginia's attorney general-elect, but Republican Mark Obenshain isn't yet ready to concede.
(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Mark Herring says that he's Virginia's attorney general-elect, but Republican Mark Obenshain isn't yet ready to concede.

Adding up the votes in the hotly contested race for attorney general in Virginia — Democrat Mark Herring is ahead of Republican Mark Obenshain by just over 160 votes of 2.2 million cast — will be about more than numbers.

As registrars across the commonwealth prepare for a recount in the race, one thing is becoming becoming clear — this recount will be unlike any other statewide recount in Virginia history.

"I think it's true that most people, when they envision a recount, they think of Florida and holding up ballots looking for hanging chads or counting each individual ballots one by one, and that was, you know, old technology," says Alexandria registrar Tom Parkins.

In Virginia, everything old is new again. Paper ballots were replaced by electronic machines that have now been replaced by… paper ballots. And unlike the last recount for the attorney general race back in 2005 — in which the candidates were separated by just over 300 votes — this recount will actually feed all those paper ballots back through the machines again.

Flipping through her record of the last recount in 2005, Arlington County registrar Linda Lindberg says that eight years ago, none of the paper ballots were fed through the machine again. Instead, the numbers that were reported to the state were crosschecked with the numbers that were reported from the precincts. This time, she says, things will be different.

"It's probably likely, based on the type of motions that the campaigns would make to the court, that we might be required to program the scanners so that they separate the undervotes," she explains.

Several years ago, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation to encourage paper ballots. That means that more and more jurisdictions have been doing away with the old electronic systems, and that means more paper ballots to check. Most of the action will be with the undervotes

NPR

MacArthur Fellow Terrance Hayes: Poems Are Music, Language Our Instrument

Hayes, a professor of writing at the University of Pittsburgh, was recognized for "reflecting on race, gender, and family in works that seamlessly encompass both the historical and the personal."
NPR

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And The Risk Of Diabetes

There's a new wrinkle to the old debate over diet soda: Artificial sweeteners may alter our microbiomes. And for some, this may raise blood sugar levels and set the stage for diabetes.
NPR

House Passes Bill That Authorizes Arming Syrian Rebels

Even though it was backed by both party leaders, the vote split politicians within their own ranks. The final tally on the narrow military measure was 273 to 156.
NPR

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.