Friday, March 1, 2024

Close elections in Virginia Beach bring up one word: Recount

Virginia Beach experienced some close contests during Tuesday’s elections, as the city appears to have a new congressional representative, as well as ushered in a new mayor and fresh faces on City Council.

The unofficial results indicate several Virginia Beach City Council races with less than 1 percent difference in votes for the winning and losing candidates. That includes the Bayside race between Louis Jones and Brad Martin.

There are no automatic recounts in Virginia, but the apparent losing candidate can request a recount if the difference between the votes is “not more than one percent of the total votes cast for those two candidates,” according to the Department of Elections’ website.

Jones captured 70,602 votes while Martin secured 70,095 — a difference of only 507 votes, or 0.003 percent of the vote. With that margin, Martin could request a recount — and said that is a possibility.

As close as this election is, I want to be as sure of these results as we can be,” Martin said.

Related story: Here’s who won the 2018 City Council elections

The Bayside District race wasn’t the only close contest in Virginia Beach.

The Beach District race between John Uhrin and David Nygaard, as well as one of the at-large seats between John Moss and Dee Oliver, were also decided by less than 1 percent difference.

An apparent losing candidate cannot request a recount until the results are certified, which could take several days, according to the state’s Department of Elections.

Any candidate in the city who decide to move forward with a recount must file a petition with the Virginia Beach Circuit Court within 10 days of the election results being certified.

Martin cautioned that although a recount might be an option, it was not definite.

“I’m not sure, but it’s on the table, Martin said.

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