The numbers in the Fifth District congressional race made a big change, enhancing Tom Perriello's lead Thursday, thanks in part to new results from Charlottesville. The city's voter registrar says two precincts did not report complete results on election night. The oversight at both Carver Recreation and Jefferson Park Avenue skipped almost 600 votes in the tight race between Tom Perriello and Virgil Goode.
The new numbers put the Democratic challenger ahead by 648 votes. These numbers won't be official until they're certified on November 24. But based on those numbers, Perriello now says he is focusing on his transition to Washington though Goode's campaign isn't conceding the race.
Perriello says he thinks he's locked-up the Fifth District seat and now he's looking to get his transition to Capitol Hill under way. Perriello says the several hundred vote lead he currently has over the six-term Republican will likely hold. In fact, the chairman of the state Democratic Party called Perriello Thursday night to congratulate the candidate on what he called the biggest election upset in the country.
Perriello says he's confident that he's headed to Washington. "It looks like with the numbers that are there right now that we have locked this up. We wanna make sure that every valid vote is counted. We're gonna get our final, official tally here by about mid-day today and it looks like we're gonna be six or 700 votes up, and that looks like a victory to us," he said.
Goode disagrees. In a statement provided to NBC29 he says, "Any declarations of winners and losers in this race is premature."
"It is important that we take the time for a fair and thorough process to ensure that every legitimate vote is counted. We remain optimistic that we will prevail when this process is completed."
A Goode campaign staffer says it's far too early for the incumbent congressman to concede the race. In a statement issued Friday from Goode regarding the vote count process in the Fifth District, he said:
"With the vote counting process almost complete, it has become clear that there have been a number of reporting irregularities - including the misplacement of paper ballets and tape records from electronic machines and miscalculations in vote tallies. In fact, almost 20% of all the voting precincts in the district had reporting errors.
While current unofficial tallies have me trailing my opponent, these irregularities have cast doubt on the reported totals. It is essential that we get to the bottom of these problems and insist on a thorough and proper vote counting process. We will continue to fight to make sure that every single legitimate vote in the 5th District is accurately counted and reported."
The Goode campaign also released a list of reporting errors it claims happened in the Fifth District. Click here to read it.
Both sides of the Fifth District race have lawyers preparing for a recount. Lee Goodman, the attorney representing Goode, said, "Well, we don't have a lawsuit now, but we are assisting and advising Congressman Goode through the post election process. And that includes both the canvass and that will include a review of all the votes by the state board of elections leading up to the certification of a winner of the election on November 24th."