Forget the Recount: VA Race to Be Decided by Drawing Name

Lucy Bush
December 22, 2017

Ms. Simonds's representative argued before the judges that the disputed ballot should not be counted because it was an example of an "overvote", when multiple candidates for the same race are chosen.

A Democratic wave in November flipped more than a dozen seats blue and severely eroded the power of Republicans, who have dominated the House for 20 years.

Democratic candidate Shelly Simonds was initially found to be the victor by a single vote - 11,608 to 11,607 - of the race for the 94th District of the House of Delegates.

This image provided by the City of Newport News via The Virginian Pilot shows a copy of the ballot at the center of a recount election dispute. A three-judge panel in Virginia certified the 94th District in Newport News as tied Wednesday Dec. 20 2017. E

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

As the nation closely watches a nail-biting recount and subsequent challenge and tie in a Virginia election, it's worth noting that election ties, particularly at local levels, do happen every once in a while ― and in most states, ties are broken in the same way Virginia's will be: by tossing a coin, drawing straws or another game of sheer luck. Republican incumbent David Yancey held a 10-vote lead after Election Day for Virginia's 94th House District. "This morning, the Republican official wrote a letter to the recount court explaining that he made the wrong decision yesterday, and that he believes the ballot should count for Delegate Yancey".

"Last night after the recount was completed, our team became aware of a question surrounding an uncounted ballot".

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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.

Meanwhile, a recount is scheduled to begin Thursday in the 28th District race covering parts of Fredericksburg and Stafford County. It said a ballot that election officials found invalid should have been counted for the Republican incumbent, making the race a tie, which under state law will likely be "settled by lot", essentially a coin toss.

"The court declares there is no victor in this election", said Newport News Circuit Court Judge Bryant L. Sugg, after the judges deliberated for more than two hours.

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"We asked the recount Court to consider this ballot". But Republicans challenged that decision in court Wednesday, saying the voter had selected every other Republican on the ballot and meant to vote for Yancey. Will there be a coin toss? The margin of victory had been one vote-11,608 to 11,607, according to the Associated Press. Drawing lots is a insane way to choose a representative.

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