Democrat wins recount in Virginia House race

21 December, 2017, 01:31 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Election officials in Newport News Va. examined ballots during the recount for a House of Delegates race on Tuesday

The Democratic win would mean a 50-50 party split in the House of Delegates, ending 17 years of Republican control and forcing a rare power-sharing agreement. "Don't tell me that every vote doesn't count". David Yancey, said the campaign believes one ballot for Yancey was improperly counted toward his opponent's total.

But five hours and much nailbiting later, after painstaking counting overseen by local elections officials and the clerk of court, Yancey's lead narrowed before it gradually disappeared and then reversed, allowing Simonds to beat him by one vote.

Regardless of how this plays out, the outcome is a stunning turnabout from the almost 2-1 majority (66 seats out of 100) that Republicans had enjoyed before November 7.

"This is part of a huge wave election in Virginia where voters came out in record numbers to force a change in Virginia", Simonds said.

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Given that this race will determine whether Republicans keep control of the state House, stay tuned for the final results. A three-judge panel still must certify the results, an event scheduled for Wednesday. The victory means a rare power-sharing agreement may have to be brokered between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats are still waiting for a decision in their lawsuit seeking a new election in the Stafford-area 28th District, which was won by Republican Bob Thomas by 82 votes.

The election's outcome likely will decide partisan control of the House of Delegates.

Shelly Simonds beat three-term incumbent Republican Del.

Ezra Reese, an attorney for Simonds, argued that under the guidelines, the ballot should remain uncounted because it contained more than one type of extra marking.

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Yancey was leading Simonds by 10 votes going into the recount Tuesday.

The race is now a tie after the contested vote was changed to Republican candidate David Yancey after judges reviewed it.

The official, Kenneth Mallory, wrote that the ballot had both candidates' names bubbled in for the 94th District race.

Now, the victor will be determined "by lot", according to state law, and that could mean pulling a name out of a hat, a coin toss - or drawing straws. A city council race in Idaho came down to a coin toss and a recount Monday, resulting in the discovery of one new ballot that tilted the race for the incumbent. The 94th District had by far the slimmest vote difference and the biggest chance of flipping. She was more outspoken Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

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On December 20, a recount is being held for District 68, where Dawn Adams (D) leads Delegate Manoli Loupassi (R) by over 300 votes.


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