Democrat in Virginia House race asks court to invalidate tie

Democrat Shelly Simonds and Republican David Yancey

Democrat Shelly Simonds and Republican David Yancey

A dramatic race for a seat in Virginia's House of Delegates took another turn Tuesday as the Virginia State Board of Elections postponed a lot draw to determine victor of a House of Delegates race.

The race in the Newport News-area 94th District is now tied between Republican Del.

Last week, the same panel ruled a single ballot in the recount-originally tossed out-should go to Republican David Yancey, putting the vote at a tie.

The Virginia State Board of Elections plans to break the tie picking the candidates' names out of a bowl on Wednesday.

"This was not only contrary to the plain language of Virginia law, but was also contrary to the language that counsel for Mr. Yancey insisted be included in the Recount Consent Order", Simonds' court filing said.

But either way, the Democrats posted historic gains this year in the wake of Republican Donald Trump's stunning White House victory in 2016. A day later, a court in Newport News declared a tie.

Simonds told reporters that the case had implications not only for her contest but for the integrity of state elections as a whole, saying that without a court ruling in her favor, "recounts would become a never-ending spiral of courtroom challenges".

If the court agrees with Simonds, the draw could be postponed.

Democratic candidate Shelly Simonds and Republican Del. Initially Yancey won by ten votes. For the 94th District, the voter filled in the bubble for Yancey and the bubble for Simonds.

After about two hours, the panel of judges awarded the vote to Yancey, tying the race at 11,608 to 11,608. But Heal said Yancey stands by the arguments made last week by his attorneys. But 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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