After ruling, Virginia legislature's majority to be chosen by lot

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Ms. Simonds's representative argued before the judges that the disputed ballot should not be counted because it was an example of an "overvote", when multiple candidates for the same race are chosen.

Virginia law stipulates, "If two or more persons have an equal number of votes for any county, city, town or district office and a higher number than any other person, the electoral board shall proceed publicly to determine by lot which of the candidates shall be declared elected".

Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature now have to explore an awkward power-sharing agreement.

The results of a recount on Tuesday showed Democrat Shelly Simonds beating Republican incumbent David Yancey by one vote, enough to shift the 100-member House of Delegates to an even 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans.

And former VP candidate Tim Kaine celebrated saying "EVERY". The Republican Party has controlled the house for the last 17 years. That would mean both Yancey and Simonds had 11,608 votes each. It also was a textbook lesson, in an age of fights over access to the voting booth, that every ballot matters.

Newport News on Tuesday. Credit Joe Fudge  The Daily Press via Associated Press
Newport News on Tuesday. Credit Joe Fudge The Daily Press via Associated Press

He said the ballot in question contained a mark for Democrat Shelly Simonds as well as a mark for Republican Del. In fact, today a three-judge panel declined to certify Simonds win and instead ruled that a previously discarded ballot should be counted for Yancey.

The recount was one of four that followed the November election.

"The court declares there is no victor in this election", said Circuit Court Judge Bryant L. Sugg, according to the Washington Post. At this time, the matter is still with the recount court. It said a ballot that election officials found invalid should have been counted for the Republican incumbent, making the race a tie, which under state law will likely be "settled by lot", essentially a coin toss. A decade ago, CT repealed its coin-toss rule in favor of deciding tied races through the Legislature or by a runoff - in other words, a do-over. The margin of victory had been one vote-11,608 to 11,607, according to the Associated Press.

Willard Hoskins, 78, a Republican-leaning voter in the district, said he had voted for Mr. Yancey, never expecting how close the race would become. Drawing lots is a insane way to choose a representative.

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