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Virginia Election Results Near Certification

People voting
Two voters casting their ballots on Election day at Swift Creek Elementary in Chesterfield County. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

Most Virginia races have a clear winner at this point, but the state Board of Elections won’t make their final certification of results until Monday, Nov. 16.

Though results at the local level were already confirmed this week by almost all localities, it’s the state board’s responsibility to certify federal, state and referendum elections like Virginia’s redistricting constitutional amendment. 

Upon completing their counts, local officials sent their vote tallies, known as abstracts, to the state board.

Department of Elections official Dave Nichols said in an interview that the task now is to cross examine those basic results for any inconsistencies. 

“We compare that with some of the background information, like voter turnout and voter credit, you know, looking into each precinct,” Nichols said.

Election officials say most problems are due to human or technological error and are easily remedied.

The end goal is to clean up the data to create an accurate and consistent record of the election.

State law requires that the Board of Elections complete their review and certify the results in a meeting this Monday.

Then there’s a short time frame to contest results or request a recount in state, federal and referendum elections. Elections commissioner Chris Piper says that period is almost up for local races. 

“As soon as the local electoral board certifies, that's when the recount clock kicks in,” Piper said.

The state also begins an audit of voting machines after full certification. This audit has no impact on the results of the election.

Finally, Virginia’s Electoral College representatives will cast their votes on Dec. 14 - marking the last scheduled action of Virginia’s 2020 general election.

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