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House of Delegates Control Up for Grabs, Three Recounts Scheduled For This Week

AP Photo / Steve Helber

Election officials are combing through a handful of recounts this week while control of the House of Delegates hangs in the balance.

The wave election of 2017 has yet to crest, and a handful of recounts are moving forward. One recount took place last week, and the Democrat picked up only a handful of votes in a race where the Republican led by more than one hundred votes. Three more recounts will be happening this week, although Geoff Skelley at the University of Virginia Center for Politics says new technology is making recounts increasingly marginal.

“There are suspicions that there just won’t be quite as many changes as you might have expected in the past because of the machines that they are using now.”

The recount that’s attracting the most attention is in Newport News, where the Republican is ahead by only ten votes. It begins Tuesday morning. Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says the district leans to the right.

“It has a very Republican part of the district, which is the middle part of Newport News, and then Democratic parts on the north part of the district and the south side of the district, and so all of that together has makes it a relatively competitive district that has leaned Republican in recent years.”

That might change this year, although the odds are against it. Recounts almost never change the outcome of an election. But the margin of victory is rarely smaller than a dozen votes.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.
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