Perriello certified the winner, Goode wants a recount

Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Rocky Mount, left) and challenger Tom Perriello (D-Ivy) fought the closest Congressional race anywhere in Virginia.

It's official. On Monday, November 24, the State Board of Elections certified Tom Perriello (D-Ivy) as the new Congressman-elect from Virginia's Fifth District by the narrow margin of 745 votes in an election that saw over 315,000 cast.

Within hours of the certification, Congressman Virgil Goode (R-Rocky Mount) called a press conference, not to concede, but to officially request a recount.

"The morning after the Election Night, with all precincts reporting, we were ahead by 446 votes," said Goode. "Since that time, over 3,200 votes have changed– the largest changes coming from cities and counties that voted for my opponent."

Goode acknowledged that the recount will be "an uphill battle."

"I think we were lucky to get it as close as we did," says Goode, "given the climate, and the fact that we were outspent if you count the 527s and the DCCC."

When it comes to getting out the vote in Perriello's favor, though, Goode gives the credit to the young people of Central Virginia. "There was a huge student turnout in Charlottesville and Albemarle," says Goode. "My opponent had a 25,000 vote lead out of Charlottesville and Albemarle, and that was tough to overcome."

Asked what the future might hold should this result hold, Goode said simply, "It's too early to talk about that."

Goode says he expects the recount to be complete within "the first or second week of December."


this should buy goode time to find a job...maybe he can get a job in a mosque sweeping floors.

Well, of course Goode filed for a recount. Sigh. Way to waste our tax dollars, Virgil.

I'm as embarrassed by Virgil as anyone, but in an election this close, a recount is expected, and it's the right thing to do. All parties should be assured that an election is as fair and accurate as possible.

If Perriello was behind by the same number, you can bet he'd want a recount too.

By percentage, the vote may look close. In the context of the history of Virginia recounts, it's all but a done deal. Recounts aren't literal recounts in Virginia; they more closely resemble a recertification. Totals are verified (something already painstakingly done by the certification process completed yesterday). Individual votes are not reexamined. For comparison's sake, in the 2005 Attorney General recount, a grand total of 37 votes moved in a race where 1.94 million people voted. Another statewide recount, the 1989 Governor's race recount, moved a whopping 113 votes. Looking for a change of 745 votes in the 5th District alone is folly and a waste of money. Would Perriello want a recount, were it him? We have no way of knowing. But I'd still criticize anyone who thought that it makes sense to request a recount in this economy and based upon the historical fact that Virginia recounts don't come close to moving votes to the degree necessary to change the current outcome.

I agree (gladly) that it's pretty much a done deal, and I know that individual votes aren't recounted. Still, in close elections, both the law and fairness allow for double-checking. Sometimes democracy is expensive, sometimes it's a pain in the ass, but the process of bending over backwards in the name of accuracy and fairness is part of the system we live in.

Would it be nice if Virgil could read the writing on the wall? Yes. Is he entitled to his day in court (or the SBE)? Yes.

Palin/Goode 2012. Remember where you heard it first.

Almost as entertaining as Goode/Palin 2012.

Seems like Goode's strategy to avoid televised debates with Perriello ended up not working out the way that he would have liked.

I think Goode THOUGHT he had a win in the bag. He reminds me of George Allen now. Boy, was he fooled!