What Dems Say on AG Race

Post reporter Carol Morello was in Richmond this morning for the Democrats' press conference, and she filed this report about the situation in the attorney general's race:

Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, said today that voting machines in the Roanoke area had malfunctioned and he had appointed a team to prepare for a state-paid recount.

In separate remarks, Governor-elect Timothy M. Kaine said the margin in what is the closest race in Virginia history was within the percentage point required to request a recount.

"I'm going to do everything I can to make sure every vote is counted," said Deeds after strolling into a meeting room at the Marriott Hotel in Richmond a few minutes before Kaine was about to give his first post-election news conference.

Deeds stopped short of alleging fraud, and said he did not know what had happened. But he cited "anecdotal evidence" or irregularities reported in both Roanoke County and the city.

"People pushed the touch screen for my name, and on the final page they had voted for Bob McDonnell," he said, naming his Republican opponent.

As of this morning, Deeds said, only about 3,000 votes separated the two candidates, which he said was about .16 of a percentage point of all votes cast. The irregularity was noticed and "it finally cleared up," he added.

Deeds also said that in some localities he did not receive the number of votes he had anticipated. "Perhaps I miscaluclated," he allowed.

Deeds said he had appointed both a transition team and a recount team and predicted it could take as long as a month for the election to be settled.

"It's not over," he said. "When every vote's counted, I'm going to be the next attorney general of Virginia."

In the meantime, he said, he was returning to his home and family in Bath County.
"I've got horses that need to be fed," he said. "I've got kids I need to hold again."

By Robert Thomson |  November 9, 2005; 12:41 PM ET  | Category:  Democrats
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I would ask this question, why is the total vote count between the governors race and the AG race so far off. Perhaps there is a recount due, however, I suspect people who voted for Kaine and may have been generally inclined to vote for Deeds simply did not recognize his name. That folks indicated poor campaigning strategy.

Posted by: DB | November 9, 2005 03:13 PM

No it indicates voter ignorance.

Posted by: wkt1969 | November 9, 2005 03:55 PM

Or voter apathy. 40,000 people who voted for governor didn't vote for Attorney General. There's also the tendency of Virginia voters to split the ballot, perhaps trying to balance a Democratic governor with a Republican attorney general as they did in 2001.

Posted by: Omar | November 9, 2005 04:59 PM

I think it's voter apathy/ignorance combined with a detachment from the major parties and a sense personal responsibility. If you don't vote a specific party and don't know the candidates, the responsible thing to do (IMO) is to refrain from voting for that office and leave the election to those who care. I suspect that many people had an opinion on Governor but perhaps not on the AG race.

Posted by: CP | November 9, 2005 05:37 PM

Also, does anyone know why 3 precincts haven't reported? One of them is in Richmond (a precinct thats heavily democratic) and two in James City County (both in the 3rd district - i.e. Bobby Scott's)...so I think these three precincts would make the race even closer...

Posted by: Eugene | November 10, 2005 10:37 AM

The three unreported precincts are "ghost" precincts. Two are artifacts left over from the redistricting and have no voters at all. The third is one that's used only in Congressional elections. The Times-Disgrace had a piece on this today.

Posted by: Jayne | November 10, 2005 08:40 PM

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