Democrat Jim Webb has claimed victory in Virginia by fewer than 6,000 votes. Opponent George Allen has not conceded. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Webb had 1,151,230 votes, or 49.57 percent, to Allen's 1,145,511, or 49.32 percent making a recount certain.
There are no automatic recounts in Virginia, but state law allows a candidate who finishes a half-percentage point or less behind to request a recount paid for by state and local governments.
With a margin greater than that but less than 1 percentage point, the trailing candidate can also seek a recount, but would have to pay the costs if the results are unchanged.
A final count, including all absentee ballots, was expected later Wednesday; no exact numbers on outstanding absentee ballots were immediately available.Both parties have teams that plan to monitor and intervene in the event of a recount, anticipating the process could stretch into next month.
More on Virginia here.