Trouble in Virginia AG Election?

Stephen Moore writes at OpinionJournal's Political Diary that:

Tuesday's elections aren't over in Virginia -- not by a long shot. On Tuesday night Republican candidate for attorney general Bob McDonnell appeared to have won the race against Democrat Creigh Deeds by 1,600 votes out of 1.9 million cast. But Mr. Deeds isn't conceding and Republicans in the state fear that Virginia may be headed for a long, drawn-out process reminiscent of Palm Beach, Florida in 2000 or last November's multiple recount fiasco in Washington State.

Adding to the GOP jitters is that Mr. McDonnell's margin of victory keeps shrinking by the hour, with the latest tally showing Mr. McDonnell now up by less than 1,100 votes. With each new report, the Democrat Mr. Deeds continues to pick up votes in one of the largest and most Democratic counties in the state, Fairfax, outside of Washington, D.C. Mr. Deeds won Fairfax by nearly 15 percentage points and the president of the Board of Elections in Fairfax happens to be Larry Byrne, the husband of Leslie Byrne, the liberal Democrat who ran unsuccessfully as Lt. Governor candidate for the Democrats. Not only has Mr. Byrnes refused to recuse himself from the recount process, but he has also shut out Republicans from overseeing the process. A top aide to Mr. McDonnell tells us: "An ostensibly public process of handling the ballots has become non-public. Our people can't oversee what the board is doing."

Another reason for Republicans to be nervous is that Mr. Deeds not only refuses to concede defeat but has even named a transition team, which could be the first time in Virginia history that a losing candidate has appointed people to make plans for assuming office anyway. Mr. Deeds is now alleging a voting machine malfunction in the Roanoke area. "When every vote is counted, I will be the next Attorney General in Virginia," he says. Mr. McDonnell's forces are worried that every vote will be counted and recounted -- and then some -- until Democrats reach the desired result.


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