Court Rules Extra GOP Vote Counts, HOD-94 Now Tied

Posted December 22, 2017

The race in a crucial Virginia House of Delegates district is now tied, after judges on Wednesday reviewed a recount that gave the Democrat a one-vote edge over the Republican - and that had seemingly tied up the balance of power in the state. But that three-person panel on Wednesday decided one confusingly marked ballot should be handed to Yancey, tying the votes for each candidate.

If Simonds wins the lot (or recount), the result will have the power to reshape Virginia state politics after Democrat Ralph Northam won the governor's race in November.

"The hashtag * a class="_58cn" href="https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/onevote?source=feed_text&story_id=10155554269307199" data-ft="{"tn":"*N","type":104}" *#OneVote began trending on social media last night, after the recount in House of Delegates District 94 (Newport News) ended with a tally of 11,608 votes for Democrat Shelly Simonds and 11,607 votes for Republican David Yancey.

Those efforts to undermine democracy are being countered by a surge of it, one vote at a time.

Democrats claimed historic gains in Virginia's statehouse last month, part of the party's first big wave of victories since Republican Donald Trump won the White House previous year.

In a statement Wednesday, Yancey said he was "happy" every vote was counted and was going to allow the Board of Elections to manage the process.

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Kaine was right about every vote mattering.

The ballot in question contained a mark for Democrat Shelly Simonds as well as a mark for Republican Del.

Here's an image of the ballot in question. In fact, today a three-judge panel declined to certify Simonds win and instead ruled that a previously discarded ballot should be counted for Yancey. Republicans argued that the voter had meant to pick Yancey because he or she had voted for the Republican candidates in other races on the ballot. After the recount, he lost the race - by a single vote.

For this week's nail-biting recount in Virginia, the State Board of Elections has yet to decide precisely when and through which game of chance the tie will be broken.

The Virginia Department of Elections said Wednesday that they were still waiting for a final order from the circuit court before proceeding on how to determine a victor.

With the race tied, the State Board of Elections apparently will determine "by lot" which candidate will fill the seat, according to state law. At this time, the matter is still with the recount court. A decade ago, CT repealed its coin-toss rule in favor of deciding tied races through the Legislature or by a runoff - in other words, a do-over.