Virginia decides tied election by drawing name from bowl

Republican wins hotly contested Virginia race after name picked out of ceramic bowl

The State Board of Elections used a blue, stoneware bowl created by Virginia artist Steven Glass for the important drawing.

Republicans have controlled the state House since the 1999 elections and the state Senate since just after the 1997 elections.

As NPR's Brett Neely reported, Virginia law says that when candidates have an equal number of votes, the state election board shall "determine by lot which of the candidates shall be declared elected". "All options are on the table". Yancey's win allows Republicans to maintain a slim majority in the House, though a final tally is still uncertain.

A Virginia Republican defeated his Democratic opponent Thursday in a tied House race after a controversial recount.

Yancey, the incumbent Delegate for the seat, did not make the trip to Richmond for the 11 a.m. drawing, however several Republican staffers attended.

Inside one canister was a strip of paper with Republican Delegate David Yancey's name. A similar request by the Democrats was then rejected, the recount total was redone, and the race is suddenly tied.

Never before, however, has a tie determined who would be the speaker of the House.

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Our historic gains in the House of Delegates were a resounding rejection of the toxic, Trumpian rhetoric and policies that defined the Republican strategy both up and down the ballot this year.

The insane House race for the 94th district, which began with the Democratic candidate, Shelly Simonds, winning by a single vote on December 19, ended with the Republican incumbent, Yancey, winning the election after his name was drawn out of a film canister placed in a ceramic bowl. The voter also drew a single slash through the bubble for Simonds and picked Republican candidates in statewide races.

Pledging to serve all the residents of the Newport News constituency, Yancey said in a statement, "The election is behind us, the outcome is clear, and my responsibility now is to begin the work I was re-elected to do".

Simonds appeared to have won the race by a single vote on December 19.

Democratic candidate Shelly Simonds, speaks to the press as her husband, Paul Danehy, left, and daughter, Georgia Danehy, listen after a drawing to determine the victor of a tied election at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Jan. 4, 2018. Drawing a name from a hat may determine the balance of power in the House of Delegates?! Democrats hope to block Republican Bob Thomas from being seated.

The next day, however, a three-judge panel with the Newport News Circuit Court, which was tasked with certifying the results, decided that one of the ballots that was ruled invalid should not have been, leaving the race tied. A federal court hearing on that election is schedule for Friday.

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