A couple of movie cartridges. A ceramic bowl. A quick turnaround and that was all it took to elect the winner of a highly contested seat of the Virginia House of Delegates, where the contest was unlikely to be tied.
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After weeks of political drama, the Virginia Board of Elections took the name of Republican incumbent David Yancey from a blue and white ceramic ceremonial bowl to determine the certified winner of the House of Delegates for District 94 of Virginia.
Democrat Shelly Simonds, who sat next to her family and watched as James Alcorn, the chairman of the Board of Elections, announced his opponent's name to a full room inside the Patrick Henry room in Capitol Square Richmond, did not give in after the draw, leaving open the possibility of an additional recount.
After weeks of heated legal battles and protests from both sides to determine the outcome of the race, the method to choose a winner was simple: both names were written on a sheet of paper, placed in a separate, new place, Amazon He bought film cans and then stirred them in the ceramic bowl made by a local artisan. Alcorn, the president, chose the winning name by hand.
"Today we have witnessed an unprecedented event in the history of the Virginia community," said Vice President of the Board of Elections of Virginia, Claire Wheeler.
The last time the state of Virginia took a name out of a bowl was 1971. But this time there was more at stake, since the winner could influence who is elected as Speaker of the House and the number of people in the committees.
"This has never been done before for the oldest legislative body in the New World," said Wheeler.
After the Democrats swept Virginia careers in November, this state race had the power to determine the balance of the House of Delegates of Virginia. Republicans have had control of the House for 17 years, but this rare bond in Virginia could have brought 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans to the House, allowing Democrats a little more leeway to move forward on the issues of your legislative agenda.
Initially, Yancey, who did not attend Thursday's draw due to the snow storm that hit his Virginia home, won by 10 votes, but after a recount, the votes were tied 11,608 to 11,608. A ballot was questioned by a confusing mark, which caused the race to make comparisons with the Florida chad fiasco in the 2000 presidential elections.
With Yancey's victory today, the House will have 51 Republicans, 49 Democrats, which will allow Republicans to maintain their control of House committees.
Still, Simonds said he was not accepting the race, but will take some time to reflect on a career that It has brought unprecedented national attention to the state's career.
"At the moment I am not accepting, but I am reflecting on a very interesting campaign and a very close campaign," he said.
Simonds could ask for a second count, which would delay the winner of the race until after the House meets on January 10.
In a gang with the reporters after the draw, Simonds said it was a "sad conclusion for me and for the people of Virginia who needed Medicaid expansion, which was really at stake here."
Simonds cited Emily's support to help her as a female candidate, and said she plans to run again.
"This race was really the pale end of a blue wave," Simonds said of Democratic triumphs in the state. "And people prepare better."
Promising to serve all residents of the Newport News constituency, Yancey said in a statement: "The elections have been left behind, the result is clear and my responsibility now is to begin the work for which I was re-elected."