Especially when it comes to elections, honorable and courageous Republicans are a rarity.
I think I found one, and you may find it worth a couple of minutes to tweet your thanks.
His name is Brian W. Schoeneman and he sits on the Fairfax County Board of Elections. He's a lawyer, and according to his twitter profile, he even spent some time working in the Bush administration.
He finds himself at the epicenter of the high-profile ballot canvass in the Virginia Attorney General contest. So far as I've been able to tell, all the "regular" ballots have been canvassed and reported. Moreover, some districts have also finished adjudicating provisional ballots, and they are included in the informal count as well. As we speak, fewer than 60 votes separate the Democrat, Mark Herring, from the Republican, Mark Obenshain.
David Wasserman has been providing valuable analysis of the vote counting all along:
In fact, all 10 of Obenshain's top margin counties have finished counting provisionals. Bad news for R's. http://t.co/...— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 9, 2013
4 of the 5 localities that gave Herring (D) his biggest margin have yet to report their provisionals. All 5 of Obenshain (R)'s already have.— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 9, 2013
That was the situation at around 2 PM today. With fewer than 60 votes to overcome, things were looking pretty good for Herring.
That's when things went a little bit nuts here in the Commonwealth.
That's when the State Board of Elections decided to issue a new order governing the counting of provisionals: if the voter isn't in the room when his or her provisional ballot is being adjudicated, nobody is allowed to advocate for them. In effect, if you want your provisional ballot counted, you have to go in person.
Of course, that rule wasn't in effect when most of Obenshain's best districts were counted, so it will fall most heavily on Mark Herring. (It should surprise nobody that the State Board of Elections is appointed by the Republican Governor and advised by Ken Cuccinelli).
So what does this have to do with Mr. Schoeneman? Well... He decided to delay reporting his district's final tally of provisionals:
Don't expect provisional vote totals from Fairfax until Tuesday. We are extending hours to give voters the chance to come in and present— Brian W. Schoeneman (@BrianSchoeneman) November 9, 2013
It seems he's told the State Board of Elections exactly what they can go do with themselves.
Good for him.