Control of the Virginia House of Delegates will come down to drawing lots after an election court determined the recount of a close race to be a tie.
Democrats thought they had won the race for the Newport News, Va., representative by a single vote, but one ballot raised questions and wasn’t included in the recount.
A three-judge panel decided Wednesday that the ballot, which voted for all Republican candidates but had extra markings around the disputed race, should count as a Republican vote. The decision tied the race at 11,608 votes for each candidate.
— Jordan Pascale (@JWPascale) December 20, 2017
“The court declares there is no winner in this election,” Circuit Court Judge Bryant L. Sugg said, after the three-judge panel deliberated for several hours Wednesday.
With the race now tied between incumbent Republican Del. David Yancey and Democratic candidate Shelly Simonds, the race will be decided by picking one name out of a bowl in accordance with Virginia state law.
Each name will be placed in an old film canister, put into a clear bowl and someone will draw out one winner — the same method Virginia uses to pick whose name appears first on the ballot, James Alcorn, the chairman of the state Board of Elections, told the Viriginian-Pilot.
If Yancey wins what amounts to a coin toss, Republicans will maintain a narrow majority in the legislature, with 51 seats to 49 Democratic seats.
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