Luck of the draw: Winner announced for Virginia race that ended in tie

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The race for a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates was decided by drawing lots Thursday, after the 94th District election was called a tie by a three-judge panel.

As DML News reported on Dec. 21, the race was originally called for Democrat Shelly Simonds, who won by a single vote. Republicans challenged the decision, and a single, previously rejected vote for Republican candidate David Yancey was determined to be valid. That meant Yancey, the three-term incumbent delegate had an equal number of votes, 11,608, as Simonds.

To decide the outcome of the race, state law says a method of drawing lots should be used. After two metal canisters were filled with strips of paper containing the candidates’ names, and placed in a bowl, the canister containing Yancey’s name was randomly drawn from the vessel, meaning he will keep his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

If the random draw had gone in the Democratic candidate’s favor, the Virginia House of Delegates would have had its first 50-50 power balance in 17 years. With Yancey’s win, he becomes the 51st Republican in the 100-member House of Delegates. Republicans held 66 seats before November’s elections, The Hill reports, when they lost 15 Republican-held seats to Democrats.

Simonds said Wednesday she would not request a second recount if she lost the drawing.

See video of the random drawing below.

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