Goode to Seek Recount After State Certifies His Defeat

Posted November 24, 2008 at 2:57pm

Updated: 5:10 p.m.

Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va.) announced Monday that he will seek a recount in his race against Rep.-elect Tom Perriello (D), who defeated the six-term incumbent by 745 votes in the state-certified tally.

In a statement released a few hours after the official state certification, Goode expressed skepticism about the final vote tally.

“Over 316,000 votes were cast in this Election for U.S. Representative,” Goode said. “The morning after the Election Night, with all precincts reporting, we were ahead by 446 votes. Since that time, over 3,200 votes have changed — the largest changes coming from cities and counties that voted for my opponent. Now, we are trailing by 745 votes in the certified count.”

Perriello defeated Goode by 0.23 percent of the vote — a margin that falls well within the standard 1 percent difference that allows a candidate to request a recount in Virginia.

“In an election this close — with less than one-quarter of one percent separating the two candidates, and with literally thousands of vote changes taking place during the post-election canvass process — a recount is an important protection for voters,” Goode said. “It ensures that each ballot that was lawfully cast in the Election is counted, and that the votes are accurately tallied. It also gives us a chance to ensure that each candidate’s tally is comprised only of votes that were properly and lawfully cast.”

Goode added that he will file the legal papers for a recount Wednesday.

In a statement Monday, Perriello spokeswoman Jessica Barba said the campaign respected Goode’s right to seek a recount but that they were confident that one would not alter the outcome of the race.

“The official vote-canvassing process that took place in the days immediately following the election was extensive, thorough and overseen by representatives of both parties,” Barba said. “A retabulation of the results of the vote canvass will result in what the Virginia State Board of Elections certified today — that Tom Perriello has been elected as the new Congressman for the 5th district.”

In the meantime, Goode acknowledged Monday that some constituent services issues will remain in flux until the final outcome of the 5th district election is determined.

“I know he’s got a whole lot of persons requesting inaugural tickets from him and I’ve gotten a lot of persons that have requested inaugural tickets from me,” Goode said. “What we’ve done is we’ve told them to please watch the newspapers. … [Inaugural tickets] will not be distributed until after the new Congress is sworn in. If he’s the Member of Congress from the 5th district we’ve advised them that you would need to contact him. If I’m the Member of Congress from the 5th district you would need to contact me.”