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Virginia Candidate Asks Court To Delay Drawing Lots To Determine Election Winner (UPDATED)

Virginia House of Delegates candidate Shelly Simonds believes the court incorrectly allowed the tie vote to stand.
Virginia Candidate Asks Court To Delay Drawing Lots To Determine Election Winner (UPDATED)

Today was supposed to be the day the outcome of Virginia's 94th District House of Delegates race was to be determined by drawing lots. However, the Democrat in the race has filed a request with the court asking for reconsideration of the ballot they allowed, tying the race with 11,608 votes for the Democrat and the Republican.

The Virginian Pilot reports that Simonds has sent a letter to the court asking for a delay in the drawing while the question of whether that last vote should have been allowed is settled.

Simonds alleges that elections officials didn’t follow state procedure in a recount, when they considered that could swing the balance of power in the House of Delegates, and will ask a court to declare her the winner of the 94th District Race, according to documents she plans to file Wednesday.

According to state law, in situations where both bubbles are marked, the ballot is to be voided. There should have been no circumstance under which the ballot was allowed. The criteria for allowing a contested ballot does not allow for reviewers to consider other votes on the ballot. They are supposed to simply look at the markings for the race in question.

Further, Simonds alleges that the challenge to the ballot should have been made on the day of the recount, not the following day. It had already been tossed out during the recount. Under Virginia law, ballots may be considered once. By coming back to the court the following day and requesting reconsideration, Yancey's lawyers stepped out of line.

Under those criteria, Simonds would be the winner of the election by one vote. She is asking the court to reverse the decision tying the race and declare her the winner.

If the court declines Simonds' request, the drawing will be held tomorrow at 11 am Eastern time.

UPDATE: The Board of Elections has opted to postpone the drawing until this is resolved.

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