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Cuccinelli Named Official Winner

Anita Kumar

Virginia election officials today officially certified Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax) as the winner in the race to represent the 37th District of Fairfax County.

His Democratic opponent, Janet S. Oleszek, plans to file a lawsuit in Fairfax County Circuit Court tomorrow asking for a recount of the more than 37,000 votes cast in the Nov. 6 election. She has 10 days to file the lawsuit.

Cuccinelli was declared the winner by 92 votes in Virginia's tightest General Assembly race this year. State law entitles any candidate to ask for a taxpayer-funded recount if the margin of victory is less than half a percentage point. A special panel of state judges will be set up to monitor the recount.

Electronically tabulated ballots make up the majority of ballots. Under state law, recount officials review those votes using printouts. A smaller number of votes -- such as absentee ballots -- were tabulated on paper, and those will be recounted by hand.

The result will not decide who controls the chamber. Democrats, after winning four seats, took control of the 40-seat Senate with a 21-seat majority.

By Anita Kumar  |  November 26, 2007; 4:59 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Election 2007 , General Assembly 2008  
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Looks like she's putting HER interests first over those she would represent by making them pay for a recount... of ELECTRONIC votes. Dumbocrats.

Posted by: HankTheCat | November 26, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh, come now. You don't think a Republican would do the same thing if the roles were reversed?

Posted by: Kid Charlemagne | November 26, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Umm, I distinctly recall the GOP rallying cry being the recount in Washington state when a similar margin determined the winner there? And the state budgets for these sorts of things. Don't kid yourself.

Posted by: PotandKettle | November 26, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

My God, when will the stupid, ignorant Dems hang it up with recounts! They're so quick to personlize these elections and push things to the limit. As usual, it's about them and nothing else. It's no wonder they've only won the White House a mere two times in almost 40 years.

Posted by: Todd | November 26, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Todd, Dems come across as arrogant and selfish when they put the country (in this case the county) through this sort of selfishness. Don't look now, but things are starting to look real good for the GOP in 2008 in the race for the White House.

Posted by: Mike | November 26, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that could be as bad as a Cucinelli win is a Oleszek win. I'm hoping that we get better choices next time around.

Posted by: CntrvilleCitoyen | November 26, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Didn't we have this debate a couple weeks ago? Don't Republicans call for recounts on close votes where they lose? Should Virginia state law only be used to protect Republican interests? Machines aren't infallible, and anybody who's worked on any election knows that sometimes there are errors and ambiguities that can be identified and resolved with a more careful count.

Anybody who thinks that asking for a recount in a local vote is going to look bad in a federal election next year is sadly deluded. Voters want fair results, which means the occasional recount on close votes.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 26, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

It isn't selfish to make sure that that the correct candidate won the election. Ms. Oleszek owes it to the people of that district to insure that the true winner goes to Richmond, especially considering the razor thin margin of victory for the Republican.

Posted by: Tony | November 26, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Wow, there's an amazing number of wingut jackasses bombing the post today.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 26, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Democrats should be embarrassed by Oleszek. She ran an ridiculous campaign against an extremely vulnerable incumbent. "I'm not Cucinelli," didn't even prompt the WaPo to endorse her over a right-wing extremist. It shouldn't even have been close.

Posted by: Oakton, VA | November 26, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand what the big deal is by having a recount. Absentee ballots are paper ballots that need to be counted. Who knows if the Republican miscounted the votes...Remember the 2000 Presidential election?

Posted by: Carlos | November 26, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the critics. What has the country come to, when Democrats call for a recount, given the Republicans success in stealing elections? The Republicans have been able to eliminate protections under our constitution, so this is a small matter for them to eliminate---the right of the democrats to contest a close election.

Posted by: Bill G. Aldridge | November 26, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

This is magnificent news! Further proof that perhaps the country is NOT losing its mind after all!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 26, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Great post to the Reuters link! Can you imagine the left-wing nut jobs going into mass therapy after losing yet another Presidential election!!! I can't wait for the headlines heralding the complete dismantling of the left-wing lie/paranoia machine!!! GO RUDY 2008!!!!

Posted by: Esther | November 26, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope the lead holds. Most likely it will fluctuate over the coming months. I like the fact that even under the circumstances, Republicans are competitive. It goes to show that all things being equal the Republican wins hands down. Note how the only two Dems to win in the past 40 years did so under extenuating circumstances: Carter in the wake of Watergate (only to get the boot 4 years later), and Clinton with the help of a strong third party candidate in Perot (also, Bubba never got a majority of the vote: 42% in 92 and 49% in 96). I agree, Rudy is the best candidate top to bottom. He demonstrates the flexibility of the Republican party, particularly when compared against the Dems. Just think, how likely is it that the Dems would EVER nominate a pro-life candidate. Never--the orangatans in the party would not allow it.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 26, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I am routinely amazed at the blatant partisanship in these comments.

Posted by: Eric | November 26, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Way to go, Cooch! You make UVa proud.

Posted by: 1FastHoo | November 26, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Just a moment now on absentee ballots being on paper. Not all are of that nature. My vote was cast as an absentee, but done on an electronic device at the county seat.
Aside from that, I find it encouraging our great country, state, county take the conduct of political elections with the apparent care being extended and perhaps more so. Onlookers from other places in the world who for whatever reason do not enjoy the political freedom we have can learn serious lessons just by watching, listening and thinking about just such an election.
And finally, each of us will inevitably have to live with the results of this election no matter the winner/loser.

Posted by: cw | November 26, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans in this string are really showing their ignorance and idiocy. What is stupid is that she has to file for a recount when it's this close. I've lived in more than one jurisdiction where this recount would have been automatic. You serve the voters best by making sure the count is right, not by letting a faulty count (or, for that matter, a court disregarding the law) override the will of the people, as these Republicans would do and have done all over the country.

And other posters are right, if the situation were reversed, either Cuccinelli's recount motion would have been there already or these same posters would be all up in his grill wondering why not and screaming that the election was rigged. Want proof? I suggest they go back and look at some of the antics on their side of the aisle from the last election.

Posted by: SWheelock | November 26, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Janet, maybe Milestone (Cell Tower Co)
can give you a job - after all, you allowed
FCPS students to be subjected to radiation
8 hours a day to buy Blackberrys for your friends.

Posted by: Reema | November 26, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, Dems. You can still steal this election yet.

Posted by: Centreville | November 26, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

After the recount shows (again) she's the lower, someone will file a lawsuit about getting carded to vote and how their vote went missing or some baloney as such.

Imagine that, showing a pic id to vote. Of all the things!

Posted by: ricosuave | November 26, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

has the fraud started yet?

Posted by: Dwight | November 26, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Dear ricosuave,
What did Thomas Jefferson use for photo ID? A nickel?
Maybe Washington carried around the portrait by Stuart.
Hubba, hubba

Posted by: Ted | November 26, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

You do realize that, despite the names, the negative anti-Democratic posts are all from the same person.

In any case, a recount is in everyone's best interest. If there was any problem with the counting, better to know about it now than to discover a problem in the 2008 presidential election.

Thanks for the great article.

Posted by: Jonathan | November 26, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

The 'Cons in this thread are just providing more proof that the rule of law and fair play are only applicable when it's 'their' candidate that might be affected. Don't you people have some airport bathrooms to stake out or something?

Posted by: washpost | November 26, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

92 vote margin = 2.4 votes per precinct.

Two. Point. Four. Votes. It's a narrow margin. There's no way a recount isn't justified. I'm not holding my breath that it's going to sway anything, but come on, folks.

Posted by: tim smith | November 27, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Why should either Republiacn or Democratic candidates be excoriated for asking for recounts provided for within the statutes?

If you don't like it; then lobby your legislators to get the controlling conditions changed. Until then, shouldn't you be "law abiding" and accept what the statutes provide for?

Posted by: ViennaVoter | November 27, 2007 7:13 PM | Report abuse

no reporting, of course, on how the 2005 recount of electronic ballots changed the outcome

Posted by: Anonymous | November 29, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

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