Declaring victory before a statewide canvass got under way, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner is “100 percent certain” to be sworn in for a second term, his election attorney said Wednesday. Warner is leading Republican Ed Gillespie by some 16,000 votes out of two million cast Tuesday. “The margin is close, but not small,” said attorney Marc Elias. “There is nothing that will threaten Senator Warner’s lead.”
The Virginia Public Access Project, however, raised questions about the final result, according to Watchdog.org. Noting disparities between tallies provided by the State Board of Elections and the Associated Press, VPAP analysts identified “a major discrepancy” in the vote returns for Rockingham County, among the state’s most solid Republican localities. The AP reported much higher totals for both candidates in Rockingham — more than 5,000 more votes for Gillespie and just under 2,000 more votes for Warner.