Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lynchburg News Advance: Obenshain Needs to Abide by Recount

There is growing opposition to the possible effort by failed GOP candidate Mark Obenshain to throw the decision in the Virginia Attorney General race into the Virginia General Assembly where Obenshain apparently believes that the GOP controlled legislature would give him the election regardless of the vote turn out.  Hence Obenshain's frantic efforts to fabricate "Problems" with ballots, especially in pro-Democrat Fairfax County.  The News Advance, the hometown paper of Lynchburg based Liberty University, has come out against Obenshain scheme.  Here are editorial highlights:

Despite the reticence of most of Virginia’s Republican legislators to talk about it and the best efforts of outgoing Gov. Bob McDonnell to shoot it down, the possibility of the GOP-dominated General Assembly stepping in to decide the winner of the closely contested attorney general race is not a dead issue.

If Herring’s win holds up, we hope Obenshain will respect the will of the voters. He could well pull off a “win” in the GOP-dominated Assembly, but he would be viewed by the public as a usurper who “stole the election” by partisan chicanery. That is the last thing we Virginians need.

But lawyers for Obenshain and some Republican apparatchiks have been making noises — very disturbing noises — calling into question the propriety of the vote count.

Indeed, when the state Board of Elections voted Nov. 25 to certify the results, Chairman Charles Judd, a Republican and former top-ranking official with the now-defunct Moral Majority, said he was voting to certify “with question” because he had concerns about “the integrity of data.”

Thus, in a few words, the GOP laid the foundation for Obenshain, should the recount uphold Herring’s razor-thin victory, to mount a contest of the results before a joint session of the General Assembly.

In the Herring/Obenshain race, there have been no credible charges. None whatsoever. Obenshain’s lawyers and party officials have focussed their attention on Fairfax County, where the outcome of the election was decided after days of counting absentee and provisional ballots. Some GOP stalwarts have tried to make the charge that the Fairfax vote counting process is tainted and that local officials disobeyed state directives about determining the eligibility of provisional ballots.

That, in a nutshell, seems to be the basis for this dangerous chatter of a legislative contest. It’s made all the more ironic and hypocritical by the fact that the Fairfax Electoral Board, like all electoral boards in Virginia, has a Republican majority and is led by Republican Brian W. Schoeneman.

[T]he voters and the candidates deserve the assurance that every possible eligible ballot is counted to guarantee the voters’ voices have been heard. And respected.

Today's GOP has open contempt for democracy - at least any form of democracy that doesn't disenfranchise minorities and give power to angry white male far right Christians.  It is frightening.  

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