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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Ziglar: No recount in attorney vote

Thursday, November 7, 2013

By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer

Pending the final vote tally, there will be no recount in the Martinsville commonwealth’s attorney election.

Joan Ziglar, who now holds the office, received 1,626 votes in Tuesday’s election, losing her bid for a fifth four-year term to her former assistant, Clay Gravely, who received 1,760 votes, unofficial election results show.

Under state election laws, an apparent losing candidate can seek a recount only if the difference between the candidate and the apparent winner of the race is not more than 1 percent of the total votes cast for both candidates, said Virginia State Board of Elections spokesman Nikki Sheridan.

The 134-vote difference between Ziglar and Gravely is almost 4 percent of the 3,386 total votes cast in the commonwealth’s attorney’s race.

On Wednesday night, city election results had not yet been certified as official by the Martinsville Electoral Board.

Ziglar said she doubted that she would request a recount unless the electoral board’s canvass of the election results showed major discrepancies.

“I think the voters have made their decision” as to who they want to be the commonwealth’s attorney, “and I respect it,” she said.

Following the canvass on Wednesday, city officials still were processing the election results. Registrar Cindy Barbour said the electoral board likely will certify the results as official today, and she will have final tallies then.

However, Barbour said that during the canvass, elections officials found only a few “slight errors” in the results. She said some vote tallies were off by one or two votes — not enough to change the outcomes of any races.

Sheridan said local electoral boards must certify election results by Nov. 12.

After the city’s results are certified, she said, Ziglar would have 10 calendar days to petition Martinsville Circuit Court for a recount if the final difference between her votes and Gravely’s meets the 1 percent requirement.

The Henry County Electoral Board cannot certify the county’s election tallies until after a winner is declared — probably today — for the Collinsville District seat on the Henry County School Board. No one officially ran for the seat, but a total of 543 write-in votes were received in that district, unofficial results show.

County Registrar Elizabeth Stone said elections officials decided to wait until today to analyze the Collinsville District school board race because “we knew we would be so brain dead” after Wednesday’s canvass that it might hurt their accuracy if they did the analysis then.

When the analysis starts at 9 this morning, Stone said, “we’re going to take our good time on it ... because we’re going to declare a winner,” so accuracy is extremely important.

A few changes to vote totals were made following the county’s canvass.

According to Stone, the number of votes cast in the Daniels Creek precinct for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli increased by 10 to 269, giving him a total of 8,024 votes in the county.

Also in that precinct, she said, the number of votes for Democrat Mark Herring in the state attorney general’s race rose from 65 to 104, which brings his total in the county to 4,652.

The vote total for county Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Nester, who ran unopposed, rose from 295 to 310 in that precinct, giving him a total of 9,993 votes countywide, unofficial results following the canvass show.

Randy Scott, who ran for the Collinsville District seat on the Henry County Board of Supervisors, lost one vote, lowering his total for the precinct to 79 and his overall vote total to 591, Stone said after the canvass.

Les Adams, the newly elected 16th District member of the Virginia House of Delegates, garnered an extra two votes in the Mountain Valley precinct during the canvass, bringing his county vote tally to 3,634, according to Stone.

The canvass resulted in a drop in the number of write-in votes in the Collinsville No. 2 precinct for the district’s school board seat from 295 to 257, which reduced the overall total of write-ins to 543, Stone said.

Explaining the tally changes, Stone said precinct workers apparently called in some wrong figures. She did not immediately know why, but she indicated it could have been because they were tired after a long day at the polls.

Patrick County’s election results were certified by the county’s electoral board on Wednesday as official, said county Registrar Susan Taylor.

During the canvass, Taylor said, one of three provisional ballots cast in the election was counted. That added one vote each to the tallies for Cuccinelli, Republican lieutenant governor hopeful E.W. Jackson, GOP attorney general candidate Mark Obenshain and “no” for the defeated meals tax, she said.

As far as the two other provisional ballots, officials determined that one was cast by a voter who was not registered and another was cast by a voter who did not register in time to vote in the election, Taylor said.


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