Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cuccinelli Wins the Recount

Both RK and NLS have the stories. Ken Cuccinelli's total actually went up from the original 91 to 101. So, was it worth it for Janet Oleszek to ask the state for the recount?

I think so. When it's that close voters have a right to make sure that every vote is counted accurately and thoroughly. That doesn't imply any wrong doing on anybody's part. First of all, despite some misconceptions, machines can break down. Even more important, there are absentee ballots which are counted by hand and there is room for human error there. As for the cost, which Republican bloggers and commenters spent an inordinate amount of time worrying about, it was estimated to cost approximately $200 to ensure that all the votes were counted properly. Here's the quote from an earlier Washington Post story:

...Under state law, recount officials review those votes using printouts. A smaller number of votes -- such as absentee ballots -- were tabulated on paper, and those will be recounted by hand, Fairfax County officials said.

It is the county, not the state, that will set up the recount and bear the expense, largely for paying election workers. Officials said it would probably not cost more than a couple hundred dollars.
That's a modest sum to ensure an accurate vote. It is not a waste of money; it is the heart of a democracy to do so.

Meanwhile, congratulations to Ken Cuccinelli both on his victory and his new son, Thomas Jackson, who was born on December 6. This is the Cuccinelli's first boy!


afausser said...

I agree--I feel that the true waste of money was in the general election, when we couldn't figure out how to count votes right the first time. Perhaps if we did that, we wouldn't need recounts. They have been happening an awful lot the past few years...

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Good point Afausser. Indeed, we couldn't figure out how to get out our vote or we wouldn't have needed the recount.

I think we would agree that Janet really shouldn't have lost this race. But that's another story.

Tony said...

AIAW - come real - the democrats should not have lost the race - selecting Janet ensured that they did lose the race.
I spoke to an elected democrat official here in the local area just after the election, and while I am a supporter of Ken, I had to ask him, how did you all (the Dems) come up with such an awful candidate...he said that they could not find anyone else...well if this is a true statement, it is a sad day for the dems...
I truly believe that Janet going negative early brought out people like me - who otherwise probably would not have been active in the campaign...who then mobilized our friends...Janet stimulated Ken's base and folks who are (like me) not a liberal...she never had a solid message - and the one thing she could have used - the abusive driver fee issue- she hit on once or twice and dropped off...and went after stem cell research instead...forgetting that most folks in Fairfax County do not subscribe to Scientific American, but I digress.
Janet lost the race - big time...and while I've seen the blogs pointing to her manager Jonathan as the reason - no matter - she should have fired him after at least the second debate debacle...she chose not to...the captain goes down with the ship.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Tony, Janet did not lose the race big time. She lost by a very small margin. Considering that the incumbent usually has an advantage in local races, that does not bode well for Ken in future races in the 37th. He's a nice man but he is out of step with those he represents on a number of issues, as even he will admit.

However, you are right that her campaign lacked focus and she went off on the wrong issues and in the wrong way. I said so myself in an earlier post right after the election.

That said, I still maintain that Janet is a very intelligent woman who allowed herself to be painted as less competent than she was.

She came to Washington as a policy expert on education and worked for a California congressman before getting advanced degrees in the field of special education.

In personal conversations I have had with her, she comes across as articulate and bright, which is what made her campaign so disappointing.

But you are right that she should have focused on the abusive driver fees and the transportation issue and other local issues that affected the residents of the 37 District rather than spending so much time on abortion and right to choose.

People just don't feel that their rights are endangered. But they do feel the strain of congested roads every morning going to work.

She should have campaigned on that issue; education, which is where she had success as a school board member; and on other local issues that concerned voters more than the culture wars.

David Gaines said...

According to the Fairfax County Office of Elections as cited by the AP (, it actually cost $2,000, not $200. I assume that was a typo. :-) In any event, the hubbub over this recount request was amusing to me (and I'm no Democrat), since (a) everyone knows that, if the situation were reversed, the Cuccinelli team would have been all over a recount, and (b) state law mandates a recount at state expense if the losing candidate so chooses and the margin is less than 0.5%. So Ms. Oleszek was simply following the law and exercising her rights, case closed. I was a big fan of neither her nor Senator Cuccinelli, whom I find particularly smarmy and odious, but she and her supporters have nothing for which to apologize here. This is playground politics at its most juvenile.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Actually David, I got my $200 figure from the Washington Post and linked to it. So, if there was a typo, it was on their part or in the AP story that you cited.

But you are quite right that it was Janet's right to request the recount and it was state mandated that the state pay for it. And they should. It is never a waste of money to ensure a fair, accurate tally of votes.

I do disagree with you that Sen. Cuccinelli is smarmy. I find him personable.

But those of his followers who criticized Janet for exercising her right were clearly wrong.