Virginia Democrat presses fight in tied legislative election

The Democrat in a tied race for a Virginia House seat that will could affect which party controls the chamber said Tuesday she’ll ask a court to declare the tie invalid as well as her the winner.

Shelly Simonds as well as her lawyers said the court failed to follow state election law by allowing a ballot to be counted a day after last week’s recount, among some other errors. The campaign said the item will ask the same court to reconsider its decision.

within the meantime, state election officials postponed their plan to break the tie Wednesday in Richmond by drawing names via a bowl.

James Alcorn, chairman of Virginia’s State Board of Elections, said in a series of tweets that will drawing names “will be an action of last resort.”

“Any substantive concerns regarding the election or recount should be resolved before a random drawing will be conducted,” he wrote.

The race between Simonds as well as Republican Del. David Yancey will be for the 94th House of Delegates District in Newport News. If Simonds were declared the winner, the item would certainly split party control of Virginia’s House 50-50.

A rare power-sharing agreement would certainly have to be brokered between Democrats as well as Republicans. If no agreement can be reached, prolonged chaos could ensue.

Simonds appeared to have lost November’s election by 10 votes. Then she appeared to have won a recount by 1 vote last week. A day later, a court in Newport News declared a tie.

“At the end of the day, that will will be definitely about the integrity of elections in Virginia,” Simonds said during a conference call with reporters.

Ezra Reese, an attorney for Simonds, said Tuesday that will the court erred in following election law because the item allowed an uncounted ballot to be challenged by Yancey’s campaign after the recount concluded.

Yancey’s attorneys told the court that will a Republican election official was “confused” about election guidelines. The official had let the vote remain uncounted before raising concerns the next day.

The court allowed Yancey’s attorneys to challenge the ballot.
On the ballot in question, the voter had picked Republican candidates in statewide races. For the 94th District, the voter filled within the bubble for Yancey as well as the bubble for Simonds. nevertheless he or she also drew 1 slash through the bubble for Simonds.

Yancey’s attorneys argued that will the ballot was clearly a vote for Yancey. Simonds’ attorneys disagreed.

The court ultimately counted the vote for Yancey, which brought the tally to 11,608 votes each.

Gretchen Heal, a spokeswoman for the Yancey campaign, declined to comment Tuesday on the Simonds campaign’s planned litigation. nevertheless Heal said Yancey stands by the arguments made last week by his attorneys.

Whoever wins the 94th District race, the fight over control of the House may not end there. A lawsuit will be pending over the results of a hotly contested race within the 28th District within the Fredericksburg area.

Democrat Joshua Cole lost to Republican Bob Thomas by 82 votes in November as well as by 73 votes in a recount last week. nevertheless voters filed a lawsuit in federal court after at least 147 ballots were found to be assigned to the wrong districts.

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