Democrats request recounts in two close Virginia House races after certified votes gave GOP control

Initial vote tallies showed Republicans flipping seven House seats

Updated: November 19, 2021 - 8:10am

Two close races for seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are headed to a recount, which will determine whether Republicans have narrow control or the chamber is evenly split 50-50.

Initial vote tallies in the Nov. 2 election showed Republicans flipping seven House seats to give them a 52-48 majority, but two races determined by less than one-half of 1 percent will be recounted.

The races are those in which Republican challenger A.C. Cordoza defeating incumbent Democrat Delegate Martha Mulger, in the state's Hampton area, by 94 votes and Republican Karen Greenhalgh defeating incumbent Democrat Alex Askew, in the Virginia Beach area, by 127 votes.

Initial vote tallies showed Republicans flipping seven House seats. The Virginia Board of Elections certified the results earlier this week.

Virginia does not automatically recount any races, but will grant a recount to candidates who lose by 1% or less. When the election is decided by a margin of 0.5% or less, which is the case in these two races, the state will cover the costs of the recount.

Mulger said he requested a recount "in light of the errors and changes in reporting of ballots."

"We are requesting a recount in order to exercise all possible due diligence," she said. 

Garren Shipley, a spokesperson for state House Republicans, thinks his party will have the majority after the recount.

“Based on our past experience with recounts and what we saw on the ground prior to certification, we’re confident that 52 Republicans will be seated when the new General Assembly convenes in January," he said.

If the election results stand, it will end Democratic control of the House for two years.

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