An official vote count in Virginia's 9th Congressional District showed today that Democratic state Sen. Frederick Boucher defeated Republican Rep. William C. Wampler by a margin of more than 1,100 votes on Tuesday, although the returns from one precinct remained in doubt.
Lee County election officials spent the afternoon counting votes at the Dryden High School Precinct, where a malfunctioning voting machine and faulty record-keeping made it difficult to determine that precinct's tally.
"I'm as confused as I was before I went over there," said Lee County Registrar Doris McConnell. "Nothing tallies out. I don't really see how it can be resolved. I've been in this office 11 years and I've never encountered a situation like this."
The precinct has 718 registered voters. Mrs. McConnell said there were 525 votes in the House race, but only 514 voter names were recorded on the poll books.
"Even if he got all 718 votes in the precinct we, as I understand it, are leading across the rest of the district by something more than a thousand," said Boucher, 36, from his campaign office in Abingdon. "I would hope that all this gets resolved very quickly so we can get on with the transition," he said.
Wampler, the dean of Virginia's GOP delegation, refused to concede the election and has said he may ask for a recount.