A three-judge panel has formally set the rules for next week's recount in the extremely close race for Virginia attorney general.
Democrat Mark Herring won the race over Republican Mark Obenshain by a margin of just 165 votes out of more than 2.2 million cast, making it the closest race in modern Virginia history. Workload concerns have three localities - Alexandria, Chesapeake, and Fairfax County - beginning the recount early December 16. All other localities will begin re-running ballots December 17.
At a hearing Monday, both campaigns spent nearly four hours arguing over the procedural details that will govern next week's recount. The panel ruled campaign observers will be able to communicate directly with recount coordinators to raise concerns about specific ballots. Campaigns were also granted access to pollbooks.
Should Obenshain lose next week's recount, that's not necessarily the end of the line. With evidence of serious problems in the electoral process, some speculate he could contest the outcome of the recount in the Republican-dominated General Assembly.