Race now tied for the next 94th District Va. House delegate
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC/AP) -- A three-judge panel in Newport News awarded one contested ballot to Republican Delegate David Yancey on Wednesday, which tied the race for the 94th District seat.
The race is now tied at 11,608 to 11,608.
Yancey lost the Virginia House of Delegates contest by one vote to Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds in an unofficial recount Tuesday.
His campaign challenged a single ballot, based on concerns raised by a GOP election official who participated in the recount.
Attorneys for Yancey presented a letter written by the official to the three-judge panel on Wednesday.
The official wrote that although he signed off on the ballot, which was not counted a day earlier, he was confused at the time.
The ballot, a copy of which was obtained by our partners at The Virginian-Pilot, shows both candidates' names are bubbled in for the 94th District race, but Simonds' name has a slash over it.
The voter chose Republican candidates for other races, but in the case of the governor's race, an "X" for GOP candidate Ed Gillespie was written and then bubbled in on top of it.
Attorneys for Simonds said the ballot should not have been reconsidered.
Following the judges' ruling, the Virginia House Democratic Caucus issued a statement from their attorney Marc Elias:
Today’s decision by the court was wrong, and Delegate-elect Shelly Simonds should have been certified the winner. We are currently assessing all legal options before us as we fight for a just result.
"The Republicans themselves had affirmed that this result was accurate yesterday before changing their minds today. After conceding this seat and their majority, they are now desperately trying to claw both back ‘like a snarling dog that won’t let go of a bone.’”
By state law, the winner of a tie will be determined "by lot."
A win by the Democrat would make the house evenly split between parties.
Virginia Board of Elections Chairman James Alcorn said the board will likely pick the winner the same way it picks ballot order. He said each candidate's name is placed into a separate film canister. The canisters are placed into a glass bowl and shaken up. The canister containing the winner's name is pulled out at random by a board member.