Virginia does not authorize automatic recounts. An apparent losing candidate can request a recount if the difference between the apparent winning candidate and that candidates is not greater than 1% of the total votes cast. A candidate requesting a recount of a primary or election for statewide office files a recount petition with the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond. A candidate requesting a recount for any other office files the recount petition with the Circuit Court where the candidate being challenged resides. In either situation, the apparent losing candidate has ten days to file the recount petition.
Election contests for most offices in Virginia need to be filed within 30 days of the election or ten days of the date of the primary or a special election. If a recount has been held for an election to the House of Delegates, State Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor or Attorney General, the apparent losing candidate for that office who also loses the recount has 3 days after the conclusion of the recount to file notice of intent to contest. A candidate who was originally declared the winner and loses as a result of a recount may file notice of intent to contest the election within 10 days of the recount's conclusion.