via The Washington Post

Charles JuddCHARLES E. Judd, the Republican operative who chairs Virginia’s Board of Elections, did a disservice Monday to the state he serves by simultaneously certifying the razor-thin results in the race for attorney general and suggesting, groundlessly, that they are somehow tainted. If his irresponsible remarks impugn the outcome of the race, or set the stage for a protracted fight in the state legislature or the courts, Mr. Judd will be remembered for having recast a fair election as a hyper-partisan free-for-all.

The three-member board of elections, Mr. Judd included, declared that Democrat Mark R. Herring, a Loudoun County state senator, had slipped past Republican Mark D. Obenshain, a state senator from Harrisonburg. Mr. Herring’s margin of victory, 165 votes out of 2.2 million ballots cast, made the race the closest statewide contest ever.

The trouble with Mr. Judd’s heedless comments is that they could be seized upon by Mr. Obenshain’s camp, or state Republicans, to formally “contest” the results in the General Assembly. To Mr. Obenshain’s credit, no one in his circle has threatened to choose that option. At least, not yet.