The following is a statement by Republican State Party Chairman Pat Mullins:
"Election Night didn't go the way we wanted it to. Ken Cuccinelli ran a heck of a campaign, and came within a hair's breadth of winning, and E.W. Jackson put up numbers that any candidate should be proud of.
That brings us to the Attorney General's race. People have been asking me lots of questions about what's going on on the ground.
The short answer is simple: quite a bit. If you'll bear with me, I'll walk through the situation starting with Election Night.
As we concluded our event at the Marriott on Election Night, Mark Obenshain was ahead by 7,000 votes. That was close, so our team and the Obenshain campaign immediately scrambled our recount plan.
By 6 a.m., RPV had been converted into a war room staffed with lawyers and field operatives, working to get volunteers in place to watch each of Virginia's 134 cities and counties go over their tabulations with a fine-tooth comb. And I'm proud to say that we got it covered -- every single canvass was watched and logged by one or more Republicans working with our war room.
There are three stages to counting and tabulating votes. The lead has been bouncing back and forth since then, as local Electoral Boards go about the business of making final corrections, auditing mistakes from Election Night and tying up loose ends.
For a few days after the elections, provisional ballots were still being counted around the Commonwealth. Our ground team has been finding provisional voters from around Virginia that we think would likely have voted for Mark Obenshain and helping them get their votes counted — answering questions, helping them show their ID at the registrar's office and such.
That's what our staffer in Fairfax County was doing when Democrat Attorney John Farrell had his moment of glory. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can watch the video here:
Where do we stand right now? As of this writing, we're behind by 164 votes. We've been down 600 and up 1,700, so we just have to keep working to find every single GOP vote we can.
What is RPV doing to help? Said simply, we're providing the infrastructure that Mark's team needs right now. We're housing lawyers and field staff, making sure they've got what they need to do their job. We've been providing field staff to cover the canvasses and coordinate volunteers. When the recount begins, RPV will be ground zero for Mark's legal team.
Can RPV ask for a recount? No. Under state law, that's up to the campaign.
Can RPV sue over these new ballots that were found? We've had lawyers watching this thing the entire time, and they're just as convinced as I am that this is just a normal part of the process.
What's next? Once the State Board of Elections certifies the results, the candidate who is behind at the time will undoubtedly ask for a recount. That means we will essentially go through the canvass process (which we are just now about to complete) one more time, and all paper ballots will be scanned through the machine one more time.
Significant changes during recounts are rare. But when the margin is just 100 or so votes out of 2 million cast, even one vote changed out of every 20 precincts would be enough to flip the result. So we must keep working.
Let me conclude by saying this: If someone from our team calls and asks you to volunteer, please volunteer! We need everyone we can get! And if you can donate a little more than you usually do, please do it!"
We need all the help we can get!