Yes, Virginia, one vote really matters

A three-judge panel in Newport News, Virginia, ruled Wednesday that a previously uncounted vote challenged by Yancey's campaign should be counted as a vote for him, giving the candidates 11,608 votes apiece. The news spread like wildfire that Republicans had lost their majority and were now going to have to share power with Democrats.

The closeness of the Virginia House race was part of a Democratic surge that flipped 15 other Republican-held House seats to Democrats, who also held onto the governor's office. In that case, the guide says, "the ballot shall be counted".

Virginia's State Senate is controlled by a Republican majority.

Despite the urgency in Virgina's 94th district, control of the House could be decided by other recounts taking place this week-Republicans are contesting the Democratic victory in District 68 of 336 votes, and Democrats are challenging the Republican victory in District 28 that had a margin of 82 votes.

"Last night after the recount was completed, our team became aware of a question surrounding an uncounted ballot". One Republican official, and a recount observer, believed at the time the ballot was a clear vote for Delegate David Yancey.

Virginia Election-Recount

"Today's decision by the court was wrong, and Delegate-elect Shelly Simonds should have been certified the victor". His lawyer said that was the first time in Virginia that an election result had been changed in a recount.

The ballot in question contained a mark for Democrat Shelly Simonds as well as a mark for Republican Del. A survey of states in 2014 by The Washington Post found that 35 had provisions for breaking ties by means of chance, though often the particulars are vague. In a more recent example, two opponents in a 2015 MS state congressional race tied ― and broke their tie by drawing straws.

"The court declares there is no victor in this election", said Newport News Circuit Court Judge Bryant L. Sugg.

"We are one vote closer to expanding Medicaid and extending access to affordable health care to almost 400,000 people", House Democratic leaders wrote.

"We asked the recount Court to consider this ballot". The relevant statute states that in the event of a tie, authorities "shall proceed publicly to determine by lot which of the candidates shall be declared elected". One Virginia reporter noted that a coin toss had been used in at least one past local election. The margin of victory had been one vote-11,608 to 11,607, according to the Associated Press.


  • Tracy Klein