The Long Recount

Late yesterday, Sen. Creigh Deeds, trailing by a slim 323 vote margin in the Attorney General race, filed a motion with the City of Richmond Circuit Court requesting that optical scan ballots be rerun in 168 precincts. His justification is a 2.84% “undervote” statewide, but a 3% “undervote” in those optical scan precincts.

A hearing on the motion is scheduled for 3:30PM on Monday. Unfortunately, presiding Judge Markow does not allow reporters to record the proceedings.

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4 responses to “The Long Recount”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    This raises a question of jurisdiction to me. There is a “court” appointed to handle the recount, which I would presume is a judiciary function. That court, ruling statewide, has decreed that re-running the optical scan ballots is not appropriate under the recount law.

    Is it appropriate now for a district court to make it’s own ruling about the recount? If not, is there another state law that governs the recounting of ballots after certification that would apply?

    It is this kind of judge-shopping which can make people doubt the system. Certainly just looking at the optical ballots manually in a supposedly democrat district can’t be acceptable in a statewide election.

    On another note, hopefully the judge will be smart enough to recognise that 3% is well within the norm for something that averages 2.4%.

    Here’s a better question: What is the undervote breakdown by precinct based on the winning party?

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    Apparently, Anonymous doesn’t understand that Judge Markow, as the chief judge of the Richmond Circuit Court, has been overseeing the recount proceedings (as required by statute) since the beginning. The Supreme Court (again as required by statute) has appointed two other judges to sit with Markow as the full panel overseeing the Deeds/McDonnell recount. It is this “court” that will hear Deeds’ motion, as it has heard earlier motions regarding the procedures and timing of the recount to be held on Tuesday. Initially, the three judge panel refused to order any optical scan ballots rerun. Deeds’ lawyers are now seeking to present facts to convince the 3 judges to order some optical ballots rerun.

    There is no court shopping going on here.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Thanks, Will. In your mind, does this confirm the rumor I heard (but not reported in MSM) that the judges said they would not order a blanket re-scan, but would consider it on specific evidence, in specific circumstances, where that indicated a meaningful, reversible error? If so, seems likely an eminently reasonable ruling, since it does not invite a fishing expedition and limits judicial intervention to only those instances where error appears to be a reasonable possibility.

  4. Will Vehrs Avatar

    We’ll see late tomorrow afternoon if the evidence Deeds provides is persuasive.

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