After ruling, Virginia legislature's majority to be chosen by lot

Dec 22, 2017, 00:59
After ruling, Virginia legislature's majority to be chosen by lot

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.

The two candidates in the 94th District, which includes Newport News in southeastern Virginia, are now tied at 11,608 votes.

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

By just one vote, Shelly Simonds, a Democrat, appeared to defeat a three-term Republican incumbent David Yancey.

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And former VP candidate Tim Kaine celebrated saying "EVERY".

Now, the fate of the House comes down to chance: State law says that in the case of a tie, the victor is chosen "by lot", meaning Republican control of Virginia's House of Delegates will essentially come down to a coin toss.

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. One Republican official, and a recount observer, believed at the time the ballot was a clear vote for Delegate David Yancey.

He said the ballot in question contained a mark for Democrat Shelly Simonds as well as a mark for Republican Del.

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Yancey held a small lead of 10 votes going into the recount on Tuesday.

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. A City Council race in Idaho was decided by a coin toss in November, only to have the results reversed after a recount.

"We asked the recount Court to consider this ballot". In another recent local election, Dick Galbraith won a seat on the City Council in Heyburn, Indiana, after the race was declared a tie, the victor was chosen by lot, and Galbraith demanded an additional recount. Will there be a coin toss? Since the voter also made an extra mark on the vote for governor one could as reasonably assume that the vote for Simonds was the preference for House (but there is no way to know for sure, which is why I presume it was not counted originally).

Willard Hoskins, 78, a Republican-leaning voter in the district, said he had voted for Mr. Yancey, never expecting how close the race would become.

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