Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 11, 2013, 7:15pm

RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) -- The race for Virginia attorney general is even tighter, with only 17 votes dividing Republican Mark Obenshain and Democrat Mark Herring.

According to the Virginia Board of Elections' website, Obenshain has 1,103,443 votes compared to Herring's 1,103,426.

A total of 2,212,021 votes were cast. Of those, 5,152 are write-ins.

The Washington Post reported that Obenshain led by more than 1,200 votes Friday.

However, mistakes, both human and machine, shifted the vote count over the weekend.

According to the Post, the numbers will continue to shift with provisional ballots unreported in Fairfax County and possibly incomplete in Richmond.

Tuesday is the deadline to certify returns as accurate and submit them to the state. The Board of Elections is set to certify all returns Nov. 25.

After that, the trailing candidate can request a recount. If the margin is less than 1 percent of the total vote, the state will pay. If it is more, the candidate must pay.

It may be until December before a winner -- who will take over for Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who lost to Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the race for governor -- is declared.

Republicans have won the previous five elections for Virginia attorney general.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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