The date for the recount in the Attorney General’s race between State Senators Mark Obenshain and Mark Herring has been set to start in Fairfax County on December 16th and then statewide the next day. Then there is likely to be some challenges heard in court. The whole process could be concluded by the end of that week. Most localities around the commonwealth will be able to complete their recount in one day, but Fairfax has the most precincts so we need the additional time.
The ugliest question that will be asked during the recount is; is the bubble filled in enough? This can be the pettiest part of the process and a real chance for election officials to fuss like children. Some voters show up on Election Day and, for whatever reason, choose to not vote in every race. The recount will pay great attention to this as all questions about provisional ballots and absentee ballots have been answered. All the election officials are left with is to count the votes. As they do so, the question will pop up. “That’s not filled in enough” is something I wouldn’t want to have to say. Should we penalize people for either not following directions or for not having the refined motored skills to fill in the bubble appropriately by disenfranchising them? That seems pretty harsh. Of course with all the electronic machines this question of properly filling in a bubble is removed. But the election officials need to be astute in reporting the numbers the machine tells them to report. I draw issue with that last part. I am confident that the election official will have the integrity to honestly report the number, but how do we all know that the machine was 100% accurate in its collection and tally of the data? I like to know that my vote will count which is why I always ask for a paper ballot. In case of a recount a paper ballot is left behind to be counted again.
With only 165 votes separating the two, this recount is unpredictable. Herring was named the winner but if just one vote per precinct is added to Obenshain’s total in just Fairfax County then Obenshain wins. And that’s just one county. The race for Attorney General is not yet over. Stay tuned.