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How - And When - A Recount Could Happen In Richmond’s 2nd Council District

Sign outside registrar's office
With the 2nd District candidates seperated by only 26 votes, the Richmond registrar's office is in the middle of canvassing ballots. Final results may not be know until next week, or longer. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

Richmond’s 2nd District City Council race is remarkably close.

The most recent unofficial results have Tavarris Spinks leading Katherine Jordan by just two tenths of a percent, or 26 votes. 

This is well within the margin for a recount. But according to Allison Robbins, Wise County registrar and head of the Virginia Registrars Association, we’re still a few days out from any possible legal challenges.

“A recount can only be called for once the final results are certified,” Robbins said.

Vote counts at the local level are certified in a process called a canvas, which occurs locally in the week following each election day.

This year, the canvas also has to account for absentee ballots postmarked by election day - those will be accepted until Friday at noon. 

“We will not have any final certification on the local level until that deadline has passed,” Robbins said.

So Friday, November 6 is the earliest that registrars can certify their results - but the registrar’s office has until Tuesday, November 10th to complete the process.

In a video released on her Twitter account, Jordan said the registrar’s office would likely need all the time allotted.

If the margin becomes greater than 1%, then a recount is out of the question.

If it stays below half a percent, then the recount would be paid for by the city - the same is true if the candidate bringing the recount were to end up winning the election.

Neither candidate in the 2nd District race has declared victory. Spinks released a statement through his Twitter account on Tuesday, saying “it would be irresponsible to comment further on the outcome of this election until every vote is counted.”

In the video Jordan shared on Twitter, she encouraged 2nd District voters to “hang in there.”

Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.
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