A Recount of the Recount: Obenshain v. Herring

The Honorable Beverly Snukals *

Maggie Bowman **

On November 25, 2013, following one of the closest races in Virginia history, the Virginia State Board of Elections (the “SBE”) certified Democratic State Senator Mark Herring as the winner of the 2013 race for the office of Attorney General of Virginia by a record few 165 votes, less than one-hundredth of a percent of the votes cast.[1] Two days later, Herring’s opponent, Republican State Senator Mark Obenshain, filed a petition in the Richmond City Circuit Court of Richmond seeking a recount of the election pursuant to Virginia Code section 24.2-801.[2] Within a few short days, each party filed hundreds of pages of pleadings and memoranda. Hearings had to be held and orders had to be endorsed.

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*    Judge of the Richmond City Circuit Court. J.D., 1981, University of Richmond School of Law; B.A., 1978, Hollins College.

** J.D., 2013, University of Richmond School of Law; B.S., 2008, Virginia Tech; Law Clerk, 2013–14, Hon. Beverly W. Snukals & Bradley B. Cavedo in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond.

        [1].    Laura Vozzella & Ben Pershing, Obenshain Concedes Virginia Attorney General’s Race to Herring, Wash. Post (Dec. 18, 2013), http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virgin ia-politics/obenshain-to-concede-virginia-attorney-generals-race-on-wednesday-in-richmon d/2013/12/18/fe85a31c-67e7-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html.

        [2].    See Ben Pershing, Obenshain Camp Asks for Recount in Va. Attorney General’s Race Against Herring, Wash. Post (Nov. 27, 2013), http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/ virginia-politics/obenshain-camp-asks-for-recount-in-va-attorney-generals-race-against-herring/2013/11/27/c5e33aa6-577a-11e3-ba82-16ed03681809_story.html; see Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-801 (Repl. Vol. 2011).