Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How do Recounts Work in Virginia?

1. There's a strong likelihood Virginia's Webb v Allen senate race will qualify for a recount.
2. VA has no automatic recounts.

  • Only losing candidate can ask for a recount, and only if margin is 1% or less of votes cast for those two candidates.
  • If margin is .5% or less, OR, and/or if candidate who requests recount wins, the counties and cities involved in the recount pay the costs.
  • Otherwise, the candidate who requested the recount has to pay the costs

As I write this, there are only 20 precincts outstanding (plus absentee ballots), and the margin is currently .08%.

Recounts are expensive -- and the less obvious costs include maintaining a campaign's legal/admin/communication/volunteer-coordination teams for weeks after election day.

What can you do?

  1. Go make a donation to the Webb campaign to help them keep fighting.
  2. We'll keep our ears to the ground (and I'll put out some calls in the morning) about recount-related volunteer opportunities here in Virginia, and we'll keep you posted.

Want to know more?

Virginia State Board of Elections

VA SBE's primer on how recounts work in Virginia (word doc)

Code of Virginia, Chapter 8 - Recounts and Contested Elections

Virginia Recount Standards (Revised Effective Nov 28, 2005) (pdf)