Lost amid all the other news recently, is that VA still hasn’t certified all of the Commonwealth’s state races due to a number of races requiring recounts. The 94th district was closest. David Yancey (R) initially led by 10 votes after election night. After the recount, Shelly Simonds (D) led by one vote. Now a three-judge panel has declared the contest a tie after one additional contested vote was determined to have been uncounted for Yancey. Control of the House of Delegates rests on this contest (either 51-49 [R] or 50-50), and under VA law, the winner is decided by lot in the event of a tie. The loser can then demand a second recount. I’ve never seen an election so crazy.
There is still a wild card in the 28th district where Democrats are petitioning for a new election when it was realized around over 100 voters were registered in the wrong district by the registrar in a race that was only 82 votes apart. The twist? The registrar has since died so no one has an explanation why she registered people incorrectly, but the Department of Elections conclusions were developed by manually checking addresses of voters, which identified at least 384 registered voters wrongly assigned to either the 28th or 88th district, then comparing those names against voter rolls from Nov. 7. Of the 384 voters, 110 were wrongly assigned to the 88th District but should be in the 28th; 207 were wrongly assigned to the 28th but should be in the 88th; and 67 were wrongly assigned to the 28th but should be in a third neighboring district, the 2nd. The analysis concludes 125 voters incorrectly voted in the 28th District, where the State Board of Elections was due to certify results that show Republican Bob Thomas leading Democrat Joshua Cole by 82 votes. It finds 22 voters wrongly cast ballots in the 88th House of Delegates District, where Republican Mark Cole won re-election by 4,104 votes. There is no way for elections officials to know which candidate any of these voters cast ballots for.
So there is a possibility that if Democrats are successful in getting a new election, we could go from 51-49 (R) to a decision based on a coin toss to a decision based on a new election all in a matter of days.