Drawing for tied House race delayed; Democrats to file challenge

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The Democrat in a tied race for a House of Delegates seat that could affect which party controls the chamber says she'll ask a court to declare the tie invalid.

Simonds asked a state court to reconsider on Tuesday, arguing that the disputed ballot was wrongly included. Currently, Republicans hold a 50-49 majority. David Yancey were scheduled to put their names into a bowl.

The Democratic House of Delegates candidate who is now tied with the Republican incumbent for the 94th District in Newport News is challenging the election recount that resulted in a tie.

Simonds' lawyers, Jonathan Berkon and Ezra Reese, told reporters in a conference call Tuesday that "there isn't any hurry" and a delay would allow for further review of the tie determination in the contest, 11,608 to 11,608.

The recount had Simonds winning by one vote. Simonds and Yancey are tied at 11,608 votes each. That decision left the two candidates tied with 11,608 votes each in a district that encompasses the shipping hub of Newport News in southeastern Virginia, setting the stage for the equivalent of a coin toss to pick a final victor. Initially Yancey won by ten votes.

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The ballot shows the voter filled in the bubble for both Yancey and Simonds, but there was a line through the bubble for Simonds. Her campaign is not necessarily arguing against the intent of the ballot in question, but instead that it was too late in the process to offer up this challenge.

Early last week Simonds had been declared the victor in the 94th District race.

At stake is which bills are taken up and moved for votes.

A Simonds victory would split the lower house of the General Assembly 50-50. "That was a violation of Virginia law and it was a violation of the court order, and it was contrary to State Board of Elections guidance".

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