A single vote in a House of Delegates election in Virginia is all that separated Democrat Shelly Simonds and Republican David Yancey after a recount Tuesday, in a result that will likely give Democrats partial control of the body for the first time in almost 20 years.
Control of the Virginia state House is still up for grabs as Republicans appear to have lost a 16-seat majority in one of the most agonizing ways possible - with a single vote defeat in a dramatic recount election.
Shelly Simonds beat three-term incumbent Republican Del. It would mean a rare power-sharing agreement may have to be brokered. The voter had filled in bubbles for both Yancey and Simonds, but had put a slash through the Simonds bubble, which the court interpreted as intent to vote for Yancey.
The state Board of Elections said it hadn't decided on the next move. It was the slimmest margin among the four House races that sparked recounts. They cited concerns raised by a GOP election official who participated in the recount. Emails to the Department of Elections were not immediately returned Wednesday. With the parties split 50-50, there is no mechanism to break ties and any legislation short of 51 votes does not advance.
She remembered how a Democrat Jim Scott prevailed in a recount in 1991 to turn a 17-vote loss into a 1-vote win - earning the nickname "Landslide Jim".
There will be a recount Wednesday in the 68th District, which includes parts of Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield.
Attorneys for Republican Del. Manoli Loupassi on Election Day Nov. 7.
"I knew it was going to be a roller coaster ride and the counts were going to change and votes were going to shift around. but I had faith in the system and final outcome", said Simonds, who stayed off Twitter to avoid anxiety.
In a recount today, Democrat Shelly Simonds emerged a single vote ahead of Republican incumbent Del. "We also thank Delegate David Yancey for his distinguished service".
The recounted votes still must be certified by a court on Wednesday.
Election officials presiding over the five-hour recount on Tuesday had discarded that ballot.
The outsize impact of the one-vote margin came after other close results in off-year elections across the country.
"I just can't believe it, but it sounds pretty solid". "Today's results should strike fear into the heart of every Republican on the ballot next year".
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