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INDEPENDENCE — The wheels are in motion for a recount of the Wilson District election results in Grayson County.
Challenger Kate Irwin, a Democrat, told The Gazette on Friday that she has started the process of filing for a recount, after losing the election by four votes to incumbent Mike Maynard.
"I feel it was a really great race, and because it's so close, I feel I owe it to everyone who voted for me and supported me to make sure the count is accurate," she said.
Irwin expected to have the necessary paperwork filed by the first of this week, though she has until Saturday — 10 days after the results are certified — to file a petition for a recount with the Grayson County Circuit Court, as allowed by the Code of Virginia.
"I have so much appreciation for everyone who worked so hard on my behalf and voted for me," Irwin continued. "It's been a really great experience and it was an interesting race."
According to the Virginia State Board of Elections, there are no automatic recounts in Virginia, and a recount can only be requested if the difference between the apparent winning candidate and the apparent losing candidate — in this case, Irwin — is not more than 1 percent of the total votes cast for those two candidates.
With 1,059 registered voters turning out in last Tuesday's election, that would mean the difference had to be 10 votes or less for Irwin to request a self-paid recount. Because the difference is a mere four votes — less than one-half of 1 percent — Grayson will be responsible for the cost.
The Chief Judge of the Circuit Court where the recount petition is filed — and two other judges appointed by the Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Virginia — make up the recount court, which outlines all procedures and the manner in which the recount will be conducted for each type of voting equipment used.
The court will then appoint recount officials from among the officers who served during the election and determine if the actual recounting of votes cast will take place in Grayson or in a central location.
After all the votes are recounted, the court will certify the candidate with the most votes as the winner.
The recount is a simple redetermination of all the votes cast on Election Day. Recount officials are only counting the ballots that were previously cast.
A voter's eligibility to vote or any alleged irregularities cannot be called into question during a recount.