For Those Who Enjoyed Florida 2000

In case you’ve missed it, the painful effort to finalize the vote count in the Virginia Attorney General’s race so that it can be recounted in December drags on, with the last official numbers last night indicating a 17-vote lead–out of 2.2 million votes cast–for Republican Mark Obenshain over Democrat Mark Herring. Some provisional ballots are due to be counted today, however, that many think could give Herring the lead (if you are interested in a blow-by-blow account, you should definitely follow Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman on Twitter: @redistrict).

Unlike Florida 2000, there has been, so far, no effort to certify results before the count’s complete, and no judicial intervention, though local (and theoretically political) errors have abounded. As with Florida, though, the virtual tie has been like a flashlight aimed at the dark corners of election administration, revealing sloppy and questionable practices that occur all the time when no one is watching.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.