Recount Could Focus In On How Fairfax County Handled Provisional Ballots | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Recount Could Focus In On How Fairfax County Handled Provisional Ballots

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Some members of the State Board of Elections have again raised the issue of potential vote-counting irregularities in Fairfax County, but this time a major focus is on which provisional ballots should have been counted.

State Elections Secretary Donald Palmer said localities by law must count their votes uniformly, but that Fairfax County did not follow the State Board's guidance to reject unsigned provisional ballots.

"It appears that there was a number of provisional ballots that were accepted without a signature. Or a signature was replaced after the fact. That's very concerning to the State Board," he says.

Fairfax Board member Steve Hunt said that the signature issue appears to be a difference of legal opinions as his Board looked the law.

"It says there was a list of things that need to be there. And it talked about perjury, if any of it is incorrect. Our interpretation of the Code was that it didn't necessarily say that you couldn't accept it if any of those are missing," he says.

The state will soon undergo a recount of the razor-thin attorney general's election, in which Democrat Mark Herring is ahead of Republican Mark Obenshain by only 165 votes. Palmer said such provisional ballot issues are not usually considered during a normal recount process, but he said that the State Board will discuss it further with the county later this month.


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