The Process of Requesting a Recount in Fairfax County, VA

As the 2020 election in Fairfax County, VA comes to a close, many are left wondering what happens if there is a close race or if there are any discrepancies in the vote count. In these situations, a recount may be requested. But what exactly is the process for requesting a recount in Fairfax County? As an expert in election processes, I will break down the steps and requirements for requesting a recount in this county.

What is a Recount?

A recount is a process where the votes in an election are counted again to ensure accuracy and fairness. This can be requested by a candidate or a group of voters if they believe there may have been errors or fraud in the initial vote count.

In Fairfax County, a recount can be requested for any race, whether it is for local, state, or federal offices.

When Can a Recount Be Requested?

In Fairfax County, a recount can be requested if the margin of victory is less than 1% of the total votes cast. This means that if the difference between the winning candidate and the runner-up is less than 1%, a recount can be requested. Additionally, if there are any discrepancies or irregularities in the vote count, a recount can also be requested.

Who Can Request a Recount?

In Fairfax County, only candidates or groups of voters can request a recount. This means that individuals cannot request a recount on their own.

The candidate must submit a written request to the Electoral Board within 10 days of the certification of the election results. The request must include specific information such as the race being contested, the precincts or districts where the recount is being requested, and any specific issues or discrepancies that are being contested.

What Happens After a Recount is Requested?

Once a recount is requested, the Electoral Board will review the request and determine if it meets the requirements for a recount. If the request is approved, the Board will schedule a date and time for the recount to take place. The recount will be conducted by a team of election officials who will manually count each ballot.

This process can take several days depending on the number of ballots that need to be counted.

What Happens During the Recount?

During the recount, election officials will manually count each ballot to ensure accuracy. They will also review any ballots that were initially rejected by the voting machines to determine if they should be counted. Additionally, any discrepancies or issues that were raised in the initial vote count will be addressed during the recount.

What Happens After the Recount?

After the recount is completed, the results will be compared to the initial vote count. If there are any significant differences, the Electoral Board will review and certify the new results.

If there are no significant changes, the initial results will stand.

What if I am Not Satisfied with the Recount Results?

If you are not satisfied with the results of the recount, you can file an appeal with the Circuit Court within 10 days of the certification of the recount results. The court will then review all evidence and make a final decision on the outcome of the race.


The process for requesting a recount in Fairfax County, VA is thorough and ensures that every vote is counted accurately. It is important for candidates and voters to understand this process in case they need to request a recount in a close race or if there are any discrepancies in the vote count. By following the steps outlined above, the integrity of the election process in Fairfax County is maintained.

Lenora Mcgee
Lenora Mcgee

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