For Immediate Release
December 4, 2013

Contact: Paul Logan
Phone: 804.573.9638
Email: paul@markobenshain.com

ADVISORY: Preliminary Recount Hearing to be Held Tomorrow in Richmond

The Honorable Beverly W. Snukals will hold a preliminary hearing regarding the recount in the Virginia Attorney General election tomorrow, Wednesday, December 4 at 10:00 a.m. Virginia statute calls for a preliminary hearing to be held within seven calendar days of the filing of the Petition. Va. Code § 24.2-802(B). Senator Obenshain filed his Petition on Wednesday, November 27, 2013. 

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia has designated a three-judge panel to oversee the recount: 
  • The Honorable Junius P. Fulton, III, Judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit
  • The Honorable Joseph W. Milam, Jr., Judge of the Twenty-second Judicial Circuit
  • The Honorable Beverly W. Snukals, Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, designated Chief Judge in place of Chief Judge Bradley B. Cavedo
The Obenshain legal team, represented by William H. Hurd, Ashley L. Taylor, Jr. and Stephen C. Piepgrass, will be available following the hearing to speak with members of the press. 

Wednesday, Dec. 4 -- 10:00 a.m.
The Honorable Beverly W. Snukals Holds Preliminary Recount Hearing
Richmond Circuit Court -- Courtroom 307
400 North 9th Street
Richmond


At the preliminary hearing, the Chief Judge shall permit parties and their counsel, under the supervision of the local electoral boards, to have access to "pollbooks and other materials used in the election for examination purposes." Va. Code § 24.2-802(B) (but noting that individual ballots may not be so examined at this point). 

The Code does not specify whether the date of the recount is established at the first or second hearings. We suggest that a tentative date for the recount be selected at the preliminary hearing, and we will work with counsel for Senator Herring to develop, if possible, a joint recommendation, with December 18 and/or 19 being prominent possibilities. 

The Virginia Public Access Project estimates that approximately 712,000 optical scan ballots (not including provisional and absentee ballots) will need to be re-run as part of the recount.  Update: Scope of Potential Recount, Virginia Public Access Project (Nov. 25, 2013), http://www.vpap.org/updates/show/1415
 
Observers from both political parties estimate that there are thousands of votes in the undervote/overvote category in the 2013 election that now will be counted as part of the recount.  See, e.g., Kenric Ward, Deeds legislation could wipe out Herring’s lead in AG race, Watchdog.org, http://watchdog.org/117686/state-attorney-general/ (Nov. 25, 2013); Ben Tribbett, 25,000-50,000 AG Ballots Still Left To Be Counted, Not Larry Sabato, http://notlarrysabato.typepad.com/ (Nov. 25, 2013). 


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