Name-Drawing Delayed In Tied Virginia Race After Democrat Launches Last-Minute Court Challenge
Democrat Shelly Simonds launched a last-minute effort Tuesday to prevent the race for a crucial seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates from being settled by luck.
Simonds’ campaign filed a motion asking judges at the Newport News Circuit Court to reconsider last week’s decision to count a contested ballot for her opponent, Republican incumbent David Yancey.
The move is the latest twist in the dramatic race for the state’s 94th district.
Initially, Yancey appeared to have beaten Simonds by 10 votes during the Nov. 7 election. But a recount completed on Dec. 19 determined Simonds had defeated Yancey by just one vote. One day later, the three-judge panel ruled a contested ballot that had been marked for Yancey but had been uncounted should have been counted for the Republican ― bringing the score to a tie.
On Wednesday, a member of the State Board of Elections is scheduled to pick a film canister carrying a piece of paper with the name of the winner out of a bowl.
According to Virginia law, House races that result in a tie need to be decided “by lot.” On Wednesday, a member of the State Board of Elections is scheduled to pick a film canister carrying a piece of paper with the name of the winner out of a bowl.
Simonds’ campaign is arguing that it was too late in the process to bring up the ballot in question, CNN reports. “My opponent made an end run around the clear rules of the recount,” Simonds said during a conference call with reporters, according to the network.
If the court agrees with Simonds, the draw could be postponed.
The Simonds campaign filed the motion electronically, according to CNN. Because Tuesday is a holiday, it will have to wait until Wednesday for a response.
If Simonds were to win the seat, Republicans would lose majority control of the House of Delegates after 17 years.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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