VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A judge ordered three Virginia Beach City Council races be recounted on December 17 during a court hearing on Monday morning.
The three races all meet the state requirement to request a recount and the city will cover the more than $100,000 cost of recounting the ballots, election officials said.
Three judges will oversee the recount, which could take up to four days to complete. Election officials will enter each ballot into machines and then over-votes, under-votes, and write-ins will be counted by hand.
The process will require more than 100 election officials, campaign members and observers.
The closest race is in the Beach district where David Nygaard has a 212 vote lead over the incumbent, John Uhrin. "The great thing is the politics are out of it," Uhrin said. "We're done with that now and now it's just a math problem."
Nygaard believes the results will prove him to be the winner. "I'm pretty confident that the election is going to hold," he said. "Either way I'm just going to prepare to take a seat on council."
The next closest race is for the second At-Large seat. Aaron Rouse convincingly won the first one, but incumbent John Moss leads by just 347 over Dee Oliver.
"You always go in optimistic and we'll see," Oliver said.
In the third recount race, incumbent Louis Jones leads Brad Martin by 503 votes in the Bayside district race. "We're excited that it's this close. It's a remarkable thing and an unprecedented thing there are three races this close," said Martin.
Meanwhile, attorney Gary Byler, who representing both Jones and Moss, also believes those candidates will hang on to re-election. "What we have learned through the years is there are very small changes and when there are, they are usually a wash," Byler said.
The recount will happen in building 19 across from city hall.