Fluvanna recount.

I spent my morning driving around Fluvanna as a recount observer for the Deeds campaign. McDonnell gained four votes and Deeds lost two, netting McDonnell two votes for the county.

It basically went pretty smoothly, although there was some ongoing trouble with the electoral board chair. He was insistent that observers were not permitted to observe the counting itself. I wrote down a few choice quotes:

  • “Observers are here to observe — it doesn’t mean you get to see if the numbers are right.”
  • “They don’t look over your shoulder.” (Speaking to the counters.)
  • “You aren’t permitted to see and hear everything.”
  • “You won’t get to see the ballot.”

Now, I’m no election law expert, but this didn’t seem right to me. The Deeds campaign sent over an attorney, who pushed the ornery chair until we were permitted to observe the counting and check the math of the counters.

One of the fellows on the Republican side of things was Brian Gunn, chair of the UVa Republicans — he helped to make the whole process altogether enjoyable. It’s always nice to meet new people, especially when they’re dressed up so fancy.

We spent our time checking vote tallies in an equipment shed (complete with tractors and lawnmowers), in an old school, and in a courthouse. It was not glamorous work, it was not hard work, but it was interesting. It’s too bad that Creigh lost a couple of votes in the recount of Fluvanna, but the good news is that we got the count right, and that’s the most important thing.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

5 replies on “Fluvanna recount.”

  1. All was peaceful in Cumberland for our recount, except for the first few hours, we were getting a system down which worked well in the end.

    I too met the loyal opposition in the Republican Chair for our county. He was pleasant, and we even share a few concerns about the school system in Cumberland. We are thinking of writing letters to the editor of the Farmville Herald, in order to urge people to become more involved in their own county’s government.

    All in all, no net gains for either candidate, although there were some semi-serious poll worker issues that will need to be addressed. It’s not like we were going to find a hundred votes in this county, since each of the five precincts had roughly 500 votes each.


  2. That is very strange. I was on a recount team for a local school board race and we were provided with the current numbers and were able to sit directly across from the counters. It would have been akward to be standing right behind them, but I don’t think they would have blasted me for doing so.

  3. Everyone in Hanover was a pleasure to deal with. The local election board officials as well as the recount coordinators who conducted the recount. We observers stood right with the official counters all day (it went from 9-6), and essentially functioned as four 4-person teams. It went very smoothly, and everyone had a great time.

    Deeds may have gained one vote in the county, but most likely it was no change.

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