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.