RICHMOND (AP) -- The recount in Virginia's historically close race for attorney general is taking shape, with a three-judge panel establishing more ground rules.
The recount court met for the first time Monday in Richmond to establish rules for a recount that begins in one week. Republican Mark Obenshain sought the recount after he trailed Democrat Mark Herring by a scant 165 votes out of 2.2 million ballots cast statewide.
The arguments between attorneys for Herring and Obenshain boil down to how many disputed ballots will wind up before the recount court next week.
The court on Monday agreed to allow Chesapeake and Alexandria to begin their recount on the Dec. 16, when Fairfax County is recounting its ballots. The court also defined the role of partisan observers in the recount.
In Chesapeake, 61,000 paper ballots must be tallied manually, the state Board of Elections has told city officials.
The reason, according to Chesapeake General Registar William "Al" Spradlin, is that the city's optical scanning equipment cannot segregate ballots that were undervoted - didn't vote in all races - or overvoted - voted for too many candidates, the Virginia Pilot reported.