Race for Virginia delegate may be decided by casting lots

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A race for a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates may be decided by drawing lots. The race had rested on a single vote; now, the 94th District election has officially been called a tie by a three-judge panel in a Wednesday ruling.

The panel said a previously rejected vote was valid and should have gone to three-term incumbent Del. David Yancey, R-Newport News, according to the Daily Press. State law literally says such cases will be decided by drawing lots, meaning a set of objects are put together in a container and one is randomly drawn to decide something.

The random draw will decide if the Virginia House of Delegates will have its first 50-50 power balance in 17 years. While judges deliberated outside the court, suggestions were bandied, including a coin-flip, drawing straws, a physical contest and even a duel to decide the winner, in the event of a tie.

Virginia Board of Elections Chairman James Alcorn had a much more reasoned suggestion. He said the board would likely select the winner the same way it decides on ballot order: each candidate’s name is placed inside a separate film canister, which is then shaken in a glass bowl and the winner pulled out at random by a board member.

Alcorn sent out a tweet Thursday night, saying the board may meet as early as Friday to decide.

“Well, I hear my voters,” said Yancey after the hearing. Yancey says he believes he received “crossover” votes, as members of the community were aware of what his team was “able to do for them in the community, working for them.”

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