Virginia Statehouse Election Decision Will Be Postponed as Simonds Launches Legal Battle


This year has been a monumental one for Virginian politics, seeing the election of Democratic Socialist Lee Carter over Republican House Majority Whip Jackson Miller and the rise of Danica Roem, the first openly transgender woman to serve on any state’s legislature, but the state’s final race has proved to be the strangest one of all, and still has not found a tidy resolution.

In a now infamous nailbiter, Democrat Shelly Simonds was deemed the winner of Virginia’s 94th district by an unbelievably slim margin, bringing balance to a House of Delegates that had previously been dominated by Republicans. Simonds scraped a victory over the incumbent Republican David Yancey by a single, solitary vote, only to have the ruling overturned a day later by a panel of judges who ruled that an infuriatingly inconclusive ballot could be counted as a vote for Yancey.

Faced with an unprecedented tie of 11,608 votes attributed to each candidate, state law dictates that the election should be determined by “a lot,” which could take the form of anything from a runoff to drawing a name out of a hat, and which was to take place as early as Wednesday.

On Tuesday, however, election officials announced that a legal fight put into action by Simonds would postpone the lot, as Simonds is asking state court to rule that the ballot counted for Yancey was wrongly included.

Simonds is arguing that upholding the ruling of the panel of judges who determined that the race ended in a tie would tarnish the integrity of state elections, telling reporters that “recounts would become a never-ending spiral of courtroom challenges.”

A spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Elections confirmed with Reuters that no replacement date for the draw has been set.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin