Almost no change after attorney general recount

Posted: December 18, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Area registrars reported smooth sailing during Tuesday’s recount procedures in the state attorney general race.

Sen. Mark Herring, D-Leesburg, came out 165 votes ahead of Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham County, out of 2.2 million cast in the Nov. 5 election.

After Monday’s first day of the recount, Herring appeared to have widened his lead with a net gain of 91 votes in Fairfax County, officials said.

Locally, recount teams and observers began the process at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Tom Welsh, who served as an officer of election on Election Day, was chosen as an alternate for the recount team in Winchester, but decided to stick around and watch after his services weren’t needed to count ballots at Rouss City Hall.

“I have a deeper interest in the subject,” he said as two women went over the election paperwork under the watchful eye of two observers — one Republican and one Democrat. Two members of the city’s electoral board, Winchester Circuit Court Clerk Terry Whittle and Deputy Voter Registrar Patricia Kern-Jarrell, were also on hand.

Kern-Jarrell said all of the city’s precincts had touch-screen voting machines, although some absentee ballots were mailed in. Those mailed-in ballots were rescanned, and the paperwork from the voting machines was double-checked. Additionally, three ballots emailed from overseas military personnel were hand-counted, Kern-Jarrell said.

“Understanding the process is interesting,” Welsh said. “Seeing what goes on is interesting to me.”

Later in the day, Assistant Registrar Michele Stone reported there were no changes to the Election Day totals, and no challenged ballots.

According to the State Board of Elections, Obenshain received 2,918 votes from Winchester residents, compared to 2,748 for Herring.

In Frederick County, the recount resulted in one additional vote for each candidate, Registrar Rick Miller said. Herring had 6,860 votes, compared to 13,526 cast for Obenshain.

Registrar Barbara Bosserman said there were no changes to the totals resulting from the recount in Clarke County. According to the Board of Elections, Obenshain received 2,708 votes to Herring’s 2,150.

Bosserman said the last statewide recount was in 2005 when Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County, vied with current Gov. Bob McDonnell for attorney general. The seat went to McDonnell.

— Contact Sally Voth at svoth@winchesterstar.com