Va. Democrat Says There's Big Problem With Vote No. 11,608

Shelly Simonds asking court to declare her the winner of Virginia's 94th District Race
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2017 3:45 PM CST
Updated Dec 26, 2017 6:07 PM CST
Winner's Name Will Be Drawn, Unless Democrat Can Stop It
This image provided by the City of Newport News via The Virginian-Pilot shows a copy of the ballot at the center of a recount election dispute.   (City of Newport News/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

Shelly Simonds wants to stop her name from being written on a slip of paper and put inside an old film canister on Wednesday morning, and she's partially succeeded. The Democrat plans to ask a Virginia court to name her the winner of the 94th District Race on Wednesday; she had been declared the winner following a recount last Tuesday, with the 11,608-to-11,607 vote ending 17 years of Republican control in the Virginia House. But judges last Wednesday evened the count to 11,608 for both, and the race is now set to be determined by lot, with the aforementioned film canister and one containing the name of Republican rival/incumbent David Yancey put in a 180-year-old turquoise pitcher, reports the Washington Post.

The Newport News Circuit Court is closed Tuesday for the holiday, so she'll file documents Wednesday arguing that election officials sidestepped proper procedure when they handed Yancey an additional vote. The AP reports election officials on Tuesday night decided to postpone the drawing as a result of her planned filing; they didn't specify a new date or time. When more than one candidate's bubble is filled in on a ballot, that ballot is supposed to be declared an "over vote" and discarded. But the 11,608th vote handed to Yancey came from a ballot in which both candidates' bubbles were filled in; Simonds' bubble had a slash mark through it. Her filing also calls out Yancey's decision to take issue with the ballot the day after the recount, which facilitated his "opportunistic end run" around recount law, she alleges, per the Virginia Pilot. (More Virginia stories.)

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