Herring widens lead over Obenshain in Va. AG's race after provis - FOX 35 News Orlando

Herring widens lead over Obenshain in Va. AG's race after provisional ballot count

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Democrat Mark R. Herring has widened his lead over Republican Mark R. Obenshain in the nail-biting race for attorney general in Virginia.

A count Tuesday of provisional ballots in Virginia's largest county put Herring 163 votes ahead of Obenshain. The race is likely to head to a recount after the State Board of Elections certifies the Virginia-wide votes.

Herring's campaign claimed victory, but Obenshain issued a statement saying he would wait until the state certifies the results on Nov. 25.

In a seesaw race, Herring's unofficial lead slipped to 106 votes out of 2.2 million ballots cast on Nov. 5, according to unofficial results from the State Board of Elections.

But after Fairfax County election officials counted provisional ballots Tuesday night, Herring claimed an additional 160 votes to Obenshain's 103, giving him the unofficial statewide lead of 1,103,778 votes to Obenshain's 1,103,615 votes.

Midnight is the deadline for ballots to be certified by local election boards.

By STEVE SZKOTAK Associated Press

Statement From the Fairfax County Electoral Board:

“After a lengthy process that began on Friday, Nov. 8, we announced this evening that 271 of the provisional ballots from the Nov. 5 general election were approved. However, two of the approved ballot envelopes were empty.

The ballots were voted on optical scan machines by the three Congressional Districts in Fairfax County – the 8th, 10th and 11th.

The result of the voting of approved provisional ballots for attorney general was 160 votes for Mark Herring and 103 votes for Mark Obenshain. In the 86th House of Delegates race, the voting of approved provisional ballots for Tom Rust was 3 votes and Jennifer Boysko was 6 votes.

Throughout the provisional ballot review, the Electoral Board has followed the letter of the law as we understand it, even when we disagreed with the guidance we were given. We gave all voters the benefit of any reasonable doubt and we are confident that the voters of Fairfax County, thanks to our transparency and willingness to give them every opportunity to be heard, felt that their vote really counted. There were 159 voters who came to the Government Center to defend or check on the status of their provisional ballot. The rejection of ballots was based on weighing our internal staff research, outside evidence, information provided by the voters and the credibility of the information presented to us, and in every situation we followed the letter of the law. Every ballot was adjudicated on its own merits, as required by law.

The Electoral Board sincerely thanks the Office of Elections and county staff for their hard work and commitment during this process. We also sincerely thank the citizens of Fairfax County and the commonwealth, both political parties, as well as the candidates for their patience as we worked to get it right.

We are now working to certify the results by tonight’s deadline.”

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