Democrat Shelly Simonds on Thursday said she feels that she won the Virginia House of Delegates race “fair and square” after a recount showed her defeating Republican incumbent David Yancey by a single vote.
However, a three-judge panel overruled the recount and ruled the election a tie after adding a previously invalidated ballot to Yancey’s total.
The result of the election was to be decided by a random drawing on Wednesday but was delayed following a legal challenge by Simonds, who is disputing the tie.
Virginia delegate candidate Shelly Simonds says she has a problem with using drawing to settle the tie race: “I do feel like I did win fair and square during the recount” https://t.co/6JqMKS1jyK https://t.co/wxZGG87aQ6
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 28, 2017
“I do have a problem with doing a game of chance now, because I do feel now I did win fair and square during the recount,” Simonds said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“I mean, wow, winning by only one vote,” she added.
The Hill added:
Virginia officials reportedly agreed on Tuesday to delay the lottery drawing as they reviewed the ballot after Simonds asked the Newport News Circuit Court to reconsider counting the one ballot that went in favor of Yancey on the basis that election officials failed to properly follow state procedure in the recount
Simonds’s lawyers in the lawsuit say the decision of the three judge panel is a “clear legal error,” running “contrary to Virginia law” by counting the previously tossed-out ballot in the final tally. They say the ballot could’ve only entered into consideration at the end of a recount — not redetermined the following day.
“If the recount had shown that it was a tie, then I would’ve been more open to this. But because I feel that I am the rightful winner, I am very uncomfortable with the turn of the story,” Simonds told CNN.
“I do have a lot of faith in the system. I thought the recount went really well,” she added.
If Simonds wins the lawsuit or drawing, then it would end the 18-year Republican majority in the Virginia House of Delegates, therefore swinging the balance of power.