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

Posted December 22, 2017

In a race for the Newport News state House of Delegates seat, a recount on Tuesday changed everything.

Now the 94th House District is tied.

Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature now have to explore an awkward power-sharing agreement.

In a recount, Democrat challenger Shelly Simonds won House District 94 race by a final count of 11,608 to 11,607, but a three-judge panel refused to certify the vote Wednesday.

Does every vote count?

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Last month, on the day before the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump's election as President of the United States, the people of Virginia headed to the ballot box for their quadrennial state elections and delivered a thorough rebuke of Trumpism, handing the governorship to Democrat Ralph Northam and flipping at least 15 of the 100 seats in the House of Delegates from red to blue, preserving GOP control of the chamber by only the narrowest of margins, 51-49.

Mr. Yancey's extraordinary reversal of fortune came a day after a recount erased a 10-vote lead he held on Election Day. That would mean both Yancey and Simonds had 11,608 votes each.

Here's an image of the ballot in question.

"Today's decision by the court was wrong, and Delegate-elect Shelly Simonds should have been certified the victor". However, a Democratic official persuaded the Republican official to not count the ballot.

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.

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Meanwhile, there are two more recounts to be conducted: one began today in House District 68, and the other begins on Thursday in House District 28.

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

The victor will be determined by lot.

"We asked the recount Court to consider this ballot. Just one vote has cleared the way for Democrats in the commonwealth to advance a progressive agenda that puts Virginia families first", Perez said in a statement released Tuesday evening. A decade ago, CT repealed its coin-toss rule in favor of deciding tied races through the Legislature or by a runoff - in other words, a do-over. After five hours of re-examining ballots, election officials announced the results: 11,608 votes for Simonds and 11,607 votes for Yancey.

"They're going to have to actually draw by lots", Mr. Kays said, with a shade of disbelief.

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