On Wednesday, Ed Gillespie issued the following statement on the canvassing process in Virginia:
“It’s a testament to our volunteers and their incredible efforts that we were outspent two-to-one and yet the most recent unofficial tally has us separated by less than a percentage point out of more than two million votes cast. Now we owe it to the voters of Virginia to respect the canvassing process that is underway to get an official result. We will be watching the results closely so that we can ensure Virginians have confidence in the accuracy of the results. It was an honor to run, and I will respect the decision reached by Virginia’s voters.”
There are three stages of vote counting before there is an official tally in Virginia:
- The precinct returns are counted and informally reported to the local electoral board
- In the days that follow, the local electoral boards meet to canvass the results, and rule on any provisional ballots. Provisional ballots are those votes cast whose validity has not been determined
- Each locality sends the results to Richmond, and likely on Nov. 25th, the State Board of Elections will meet to formally tally and announce the results
A recount cannot be requested until after the State Board of Elections tallies and announces the results.
There are not automatic recounts in Virginia. If the vote difference is 1 percent or less, a candidate can ask for a recount. If the vote difference is 0.5 percent or less, the state will pay for a recount.