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Recount of Virginia's Attorney General Race Could Zero In On Fairfax County

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In Virginia, lawyers on both sides are preparing for a statewide recount of the hotly contested race for attorney general.

The recount will begin Monday morning in Fairfax County, a day earlier than the rest of the state — and a source of tension between Democrat Mark Herring and Republican Mark Obenshain.

The State Board of Elections says Herring won the election with a 165-vote margin of victory. But Bill Hurd, attorney for Obenshain, says hundreds of ballots arrived in the Fairfax County clerk's office late.

"It's important that people have confidence that there wasn't something done with ballots inappropriately between the time they were cast and the time they showed up in the clerk's office, sometimes a month later," he says.

Hurd says it was premature to start talking about how to address that concern, although Democrats fear Republicans may try to disqualify ballots that arrived late.

"The other side has pushed for a number of things that seem less aimed at effecting a recount and more that operate under the assumption that they will not prevail in the recount," says Marc Elias, an attorney representing Herring.

One example of that, Elias says, is raising the possibility that Republicans might contest the recount in the upcoming session of the General Assembly.

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