Perriello leads Goode in ongoing vote count

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

Monday 2:20pm update: Pittsylvania County takes it back. Goode's new absentee total from that county is now 1,648, 706 fewer than what it was two hours ago, while Perriello's total is 1,506, 368 fewer than the previous count, putting Perriello's lead back at what it was this morning– 745 votes.

Monday 12:32pm update: New vote totals continue to come in and Goode is now closing the gap with amended numbers from right-leaning Pittsylvania County. Perriello's lead has now shrunk to 407 votes according to the latest tally, due to a reporting error from Pittsylvania absentee ballots. Goode's absentee vote total from Pittsylvania has gone up 715 votes, while Perriello's absentee total from Pittsylvania has only increased by 377 votes.

Friday 4:23pm update:
The more votes come in, the more Perriello's lead has grown today. At the time of this update, Perriello is now 745 votes ahead of Goode. The lion's share of those new votes came in from the Free Union precinct right here in Albemarle County. According to the State Board of Elections, that when the Albemarle registrar phoned in Perriello's tally of 542 votes from Free Union to the Board of Elections, whomever took down the results in Richmond thought that the Albemarle representative said 442 votes.

Such explanations are less than satisfactory to Goode, who held a press conference this afternoon in Rocky Mount and said he has serious doubts about these new numbers. "It has become clear," Goode said, "that there have been a number of reporting irregularities– including the misplacement of paper ballots and tape records from electronic machines and miscalculations in vote tallies. In fact, almost 20 percent of all the voting precincts in the district had reporting errors."

Friday 11:34am update:
No new numbers from the State Board of Elections, but Goode has released a statement and a recount seems imminent. "Any declarations of winners and losers in this race is premature," says the congressman. "It is important that we take the time for a fair and thorough process to ensure that every legitimate vote is counted. We remain optimistic that we will prevail when this process is completed." Goode will hold a press conference from his campaign headquarters in Rocky Mount at 1:30pm.

Friday 9:22am update:
The most recent count has Perriello's lead at 648 votes as of 7:12pm last night. In case you're curious how the almost inevitable recount will work, here's a summary:

The losing candidate will request a recount once the State Board of Elections certifies the results on Monday, November 24. If the winning candidate's margin of victory is 0.5 percent or less (it's 0.2 percent right now), the recount will be funded by each of the local governments conducting the recount. If it's greater than 0.5 percent and less than one percent, the losing candidate will have to pony up the cash for the recount. However, if the recount makes the original loser the winner, that candidate will be refunded his money. The result of the recount is final and not open to appeal.

Thursday 6:09pm update: New vote totals continue to come in dribs and drabs from across the district but the margin between Perriello and Goode continues to remain roughly the same. As of this update, Perriello is leading Goode by 639 votes.

Thursday 4:11pm update:
The Board of Election has updated their page and most of the new votes coming in are from absentee ballots from Campbell County, just south of Lynchburg. Perriello just gained 647 absentee votes, but Goode just got 1,091 absentee votes. The lead stands at 629 votes. Stay tuned.

Thursday 3:58pm update:
Florida in 2000 has nothing on the Fifth District of Virginia in 2008. Now Goode has gained 199 votes on Perriello in the latest count, shrinking Perriello's lead down to 635. No word yet from the Board of Elections on which precincts are reporting these numbers.

Thursday 3:09pm update:
Perriello's lead has just ballooned to 834 votes according to the most recent update from the State Board of Elections. It appears that while Goode's total is growing as votes trickle in from across the district, several precincts right here in Charlottesville did not report thousands of votes for Perriello. Unreported in the initial count were 2,053 Perriello votes from Jefferson Park, 1,272 Perriello votes from Tonsler Park, and 1,142 Perriello votes from the Carver Community Center. An additional 3,112 Perriello votes from absentee ballots from Charlottesville are now part of the new total as well.

According to these new numbers, Perriello won 50.13 percent of the vote to Goode's 49.84 percent. That's still smaller than the maximum one percent margin necessary to allow Goode to call for a recount, but with Perriello's lead now as big as it is, it would be difficult for Goode to make up the difference in a hypothetical recount.

Thursday, 11:30am update:
For the first time in 20 hours, the State Board of Elections has updated the vote count, and Perriello's lead has now grown to 52 votes. Goode's total at the Twin Springs precinct in Pittsylvania County went down by 20 votes, and Perriello picked up another vote in Henry County.

Thursday, 6:39am update:
There's been no change since 3:27pm Wednesday, when Perriello picked up a single provisional vote in the Montebello district of Nelson County to increase his lead to a micro-thin 31 votes, in a race that appears headed for a recount.

3:06pm update: For the first time today, Perriello has now surpassed Goode in the vote count, now leading by 30 votes, with new votes coming in from Greene County in Stanardsville (four additional votes for Goode in the latest count) and Dyke (where Perriello picked up 40 votes).

2:25pm update:
Perriello now trails Goode by only six votes.

2:16pm update:
Goode's lead has shrunk again. Perriello is now only 110 votes behind according to the Board of Elections' latest count.

1:46pm update:
The State Board of Elections' latest tally shows Goode's lead having slimmed down to 145 votes as the provisional ballot count continues.

11:48am update:
The Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting that many provisional ballots have yet to be counted and that Periello is "confident" that he is the victor.
CHARLOTTESVILLE–- As of last night, local Democrats thought they had vanquished a six-term Republican congressman in Virginia's conservative-leaning Fifth District. Now, in the light of day, it appears those hopes have been dashed.

The final precinct, Plymouth in Lunenburg County, reported its results just before 10am, and it looks as though Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Rocky Mount) has won his seventh term in Congress with 50.04 percent of the vote, defeating challenger Tom Perriello (D-Ivy) by a mere 446 votes.

CNN had projected a Perriello victory just before midnight last night, but the final precincts were from solidly Republican areas, with the last votes coming from a precinct in which Goode won 62.9 percent of the vote.

Perriello will address campaign volunteers at his Charlottesville headquarters on Arlington Boulevard at 11am.


Original 10:44am Wednesday headline: "Goode defeats Perriello by 446 votes"

11:48am Wednesday headline: "Goode defeats Perriello by 446 votes, or did he?"

3:06pm Wednesday update: "Perriello overtakes Goode in latest vote count"

3:13pm Thursday update: "Latest vote county puts Perriello on the brink of victory"


It's too soon to say that definitely. Anyone know how long recounts take?


It will go to recount because it is so close. Anyone know how many absentee votes were requested from C'ville & Albemarle? Mailed in absentees are not talleyed yet (I believe) while early voters voting (in person) absentee are talleyed. Military and student voters mailing in ballots could swing this either way.

If Goode survives this challenge, I bet he retires after this term rather than face Perriello again in 2 years.

Tell me why then MSNBC, FOX, CNN and the Washington Post have higher vote tallies than the VA SBC site, and have Perriello ahead.

VA SBE Site, Albemarle (100%):
Perriello - 31,701
Goode - 18,388

CNN Albemarle (100%):
Perriello - 33,073
Goode - 18,777

which is enough to tip the election to Perriello.

oh my goodness. Say it aint so...

Chad, they have different overall totals too.

Goode: 157,421
Perriello: 157,275

Perriello: 158,996
Goode: 158,877

Both sites have added new votes after saying that they had 100% of the precincts reporting. Note that Goode's lead is slimming compared to the total reported in the story.

The SBE site changed a lot of results from Danville between 8 and 8:30 this morning, and that's what vaporized Perriello's 1700-vote lead. The last precinct, from Lunenberg County, only added about 100 votes to the margin.

My friend in Danville said the recount wouldn't be complete till Dec 4th.

Remeber when you voted for goode when he was a democrat??? His politics have not changed.

Refresh your browsers everyone. Periello now leads by 20 votes.

30 votes!! Perriello's up by 30!!

HE COULD ... GO .... ALLL ..... THE ....... WAYYY!!!!



Go Stanardsville! ;)

CNN/AP numbers have actually gone down. They've somehow realized they had extra votes in their total tally. While still reporting different numbers, CNN/AP are at least more in line with what the VA State Board of Elections is reporting.

We're rooting for Tom in the Sixth District also. His commercials were witty and smart - and it's time for change. It may take a month or more for the recount, but whoever won, deserves the seat. Good luck Tom.

This would be a wonderful Trifecta - Obama wins, Obama wins VIRGINIA, and Goode goes down in flames.

As for Goode's politics being the same when he was a Democrat, while any mature intelligent human being will see their views evolve as time passes I'm willing to agree that Goode does not meet that standard.

One thing that wasn't apparent when Goode was a Democrat that is painfully obvious now is that he's a xenophobe and possibly a racist - at least, he makes clear, crystal clear statements that would lead reasonable people to make that judgment about him.

Goode gone is good riddance. Should he happen to win the re-count, no worries - his gonads have been removed, his party is in tatters, and he can do zero damage now.

Nah, I voted for Goode (D) in 1996, against the recently installed R majority in Congress under Gingrich & the Contract on America. Goode was a conservative Dem running against George Landrith, a Republican who had barely lost against L.F. Payne (D) two years before. This time the seat was open, with L.F. retiring to run for Lt. Gov. I was all about party politics, trying to keep Gingrich & Co. in check, and Goode hinted he would never switch parties, 'cause of his Daddy, but he did. Some local Dems did vote for Landrith (R) because he was a well-known politician in Albemarle County.

Landrith in retrospect was just the kind of smart, Obama-like, Perriello-like fellow we like. And we didn't know then Goode would vote to impeach Bill Clinton.

As of 11:12 a.m., Perriello is up by 52 votes, according to the State Board of Elections website. It will still likely go to recount, but he's gaining a little ground today.


Daily Progress is reporting a possible 542 vote net gain to Parriello from Charlottesville ballots. No telling when THAT will be made more clear.

New totals as of 2:05 p.m.!

Tom S. P. Perriello 158,516 (50.10%)

Virgil H. Goode, Jr. 157,702 (49.84%)

How about a article titled says "Perriello winning close vote" Goode is not chipping at the lead, in fact Perriello's lead has increased throughout the day (31-->630)

thanks for that title change. hopefully the vote count will remain relatively the same.

It seems to me there are a lot of errors being made in the vote counting process. So far it appears that 18 of 307 precincts reported wrong tallies for Goode or Perriello and the central office entered 9 more numbers incorrectly. At the end of 2 days of checking they are still finding errors. It doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in the accuracy of the "final" results.

"Data entry error in central office" -- 9
"Tabulation error in the precinct" -- 4
"Reported wrong from precinct" -- 14

Dear Jennifer,

Glad you prefer the new headline. Incidentally, the thinking behind the old headline was that Perriello's lead of 834 shrunk significantly when those new absentee votes from Campbell County came in, so for a while there it did look like Goode was coming back, and he may still. We'll all have to wait and see.

Thanks for reading.

Lindsay Barnes

Go! Go! Go! Go! Do we hear 649? 650?

Oh my goodness, Perriello deserves so much credit! I can't believe he scored so well, but he DID! God bless him. He made history when no one, believed he had a rat's chance.