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In the waning hours of election night, many thought Virginia was headed for a ballot recount for the second year in a row. Both Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) and Democratic challenger James Webb dispatched lawyers to polling precincts to look for inconsistencies. But they didn’t find much, and on Nov. 9, Allen conceded. “While mistakes can be made, the circumstances present here certainly support Sen. Allen’s decision not to call for a taxpayer-financed recount,” says William Hurd, a Richmond-based partner with Troutman Sanders, who was Allen’s chief adviser. Hurd would know about recounts — he was counsel to Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell (R) during last year’s statewide recount. Lee Goodman, a partner at LeClair Ryan, organized Allen’s field effort. Webb’s campaign looked to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee outside counsel Marc Elias of Perkins Coie. “Virginia has a tradition of close elections and clean election counts, so they know how to count ballots in Virginia carefully and appropriately,” says Elias. John Hardin Young of Sandler, Reiff & Young led the Democrats’ 400-plus-lawyer canvass team, which watched the 134 electoral boards tally the results.
Anna Palmer can be contacted at [email protected].

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