Court rules Virginia House race tied, victor to be picked 'by lot'


Democrats are still waiting for a decision in their lawsuit seeking a new election in the Stafford-area 28th District, which was won by Republican Bob Thomas by 82 votes.

In the case of a tie in a House race, state law says the victor is chosen by lot - essentially, a coin toss. The Republicans' commanding 66-34 majority in the House sank to 51-49.

"While it appeared yesterday that Shelly Simonds was elected, it's obvious now that the result will remain unclear for a while longer", Virginia House Republican leadership said in a statement Wednesday.

Barring any last-minute challenges in court, if Simonds victory is certified, Republicans and Democrats in the House of Delegates will need to come to a power-sharing agreement.

James Alcorn, the chairman of the state board of elections, said the victor will likely be chosen by drawing a name out of a glass bowl.

The Dec. 19 recount, which left Simonds with 11,608 votes compared to incumbent Del.

After a recount of votes from last month's legislative election in Virginia, Shelly Simonds booted the incumbent Republican, David Yancey, from his seat representing the 94th District in the state's House of Delegates. He wrote that the ballot had both candidates' names bubbled in for the 94th District race. It would mean a rare power-sharing agreement may have to be brokered.

A recount is set begin for a Virginia House of Delegates race that could alter the power dynamic in Richmond.

Election officials presiding over the five-hour recount on Tuesday had discarded that ballot. David Yancey but that the voter had made another mark to strike out Simonds' name.

Democrat Shelly Simonds emerged from the recount as the victor of the 94 District of the House of Delegates, defeating Republican incumbent David Yancey, The Washington Post reports. If the loser of the coin toss is unhappy with that result, he or she can seek a second recount.

"I want to thank the voters who came out on November 7", Simonds said today. "This is part of a huge wave election in Virginia where voters came out in record numbers to force a change in Virginia, and I'm really proud to be part of that change and part of that wave election".

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez also congratulated Simonds on her victory, and alluded to the potential for Democrats to pass more progressive legislation in the state.

The recounted votes still must be certified by a court on Wednesday.