Winner of contested election was decided by picking name from a ceramic bowl


An election for Virginia’s 94th district turned to a last resort option after a recount and legal battle failed to produce a winner: picking a name out of a bowl.

Republican candidate David Yancey’s name was drawn Thursday after two metal canisters were filled with strips of paper containing the candidates’ names, and placed in a bowl. Yancey will therefore keep his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates.

The outcome of the election being decided by randomness isn’t sitting easy with the candidates nor some voters, but the debacle was drawn out due to the indecisive outcome being too close to call.

Prior to the drawing, The Associated Press reported the following:

“RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — There’s no winner yet in Virginia’s hotly contested race for a House seat despite a general election, a recount and a legal battle. Now election officials are turning to a ceramic bowl.

But even that may not be enough. Although a drawing of names is scheduled for Thursday morning to determine who will occupy the seat in the 94th District, the loser could push for a second recount or ask the House to step in and pick a winner.

Republican incumbent David Yancey indicated that he could take such a step if he loses, refusing a proposal from opponent Democrat Shelly Simonds on Wednesday that both sides accept the name drawing as final.

Yancey said he was “not going to deny myself or the people of the 94th district due process.” A delay on settling the winner could allow Republicans to start the 2018 legislative session next week at a 50-49 majority, which would let them pick a speaker and set committee assignments.”

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