Democrats Might Have Won the Last Big Election of 2013 With an Overlooked Voting Machine

Mark Herring might end up being Virginia’s attorney general after all.

Photo by Greg Kahn/Getty Images

The vote count in Virginia’s race for attorney general was expected to flip tomorrow, when provisional ballots from Fairfax County were counted again. As of this morning, Republican candidate Mark Obenshain was up by 15 votes statewide, out of more than 2 million cast; Democrats hoped that a break to their candidate, Northern Virginia’s own Mark Herring, would allow him to take the lead.

But they didn’t expect the reversal to happen today. Six days after the election, a precinct in the city of Richmond—Democratic turf—reported that not all of its machines had been counted. The Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman was among the reporters watching that count.

If that holds and there are no more big surprises (two big ifs), Democrats are now on track to sweep Virginia’s statewide offices—gov, LG, AG—for the first time in more than 20 years.* I think a Herring victory would also mark the first time that a Republican AG who sued to stop the Affordable Care Act was replaced by a Democrat.

Correction, November 13, 2013: This post originally said Democrats are on track to sweep Virginia’s statewide offices for the first time since Lyndon B. Johnson was president.