Control of the Virginia House could depend on which old film canister an election official pulls out of a glass bowl.
After a closely-watched recount, it's a tie in the race to represent Virginia's 94th district in the House of Delegates.
Under state law, the State Board of Elections now has to break the tie in House District 94 through "determination by lot".
Virginia Board of Elections Chairman James Alcorn said the board will likely pick the victor the same way it picks ballot order.
When conducting random drawings to determine the order in which candidates will appear on the ballot, the state board has used a process that involves writing each name down on paper and stuffing each name into a film canister. Two more recounts are set to take place on Wednesday and Thursday for districts in and around Richmond and in the Fredericksburg area.
"The responsibilities of the House of Delegates as an institution transcend party labels, and our obligations to govern this Commonwealth remain", the statement said. The Republicans' commanding 66-34 majority in the House sank to 51-49.
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After the recount, the final tally is 11,608 votes for Simonds to 11,607 for Yancey. Toscano has led House Democrats for several years, but Plum has mounted a late challenge. Ken Plum, the body's longest serving member.
Simonds' victory is the capstone win of a wave election for the Democrats in the state of Virginia. The victor between Toscano and Plum will be the caucus' lead negotiator with Republicans as they discuss a possible power-sharing agreement, Toscano said.
Last week, Republican Del.
A vote recount in the Newport News district had flipped a seat in the House of Delegates giving Shelly Simonds a one-vote victory over Republican incumbent David Yancey by a count of 11,608 to 11,607, NPR reported.
Attorneys for Republican Del.
The official wrote that although he signed off on the ballot, which was not counted a day earlier, he was confused at the time. 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. He says the voter had chosen Republican candidates in every other race.
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The judges are meeting to certify Tuesday's recount.
The Virginia House Democratic Caucus congratulated Simonds in a statement. Yancey declined to comment to reporters as he walked out of the court house.
Yancey's loss means the GOP will not be in control of the state's lower chamber for the first time in 17 years.
Republicans said Wednesday they have no plans to vote on their current leadership team, led by Del. Democrats are still waiting for a decision in their lawsuit seeking a new election in the Stafford-area 28th District, which was won by Republican Bob Thomas by 82 votes.
As he was leaving the courthouse Wednesday, Yancey said "the ruling today makes certain every vote in this historic election was counted". That probably would mean a rare power-sharing agreement must be worked out between Democrats and Republicans.
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