Dem in tied Va. race: ‘I am holding onto my faith in the process’

The Virginia Democrat whose race ended in a tie via court order on Wednesday says in a new interview that she is keeping her faith in the process as her race looks to be decided by drawing the name out of a bowl or a hat.

Shelly Simonds spoke on CNN’s “New Day” Friday after a three-judge panel ruled that a so-called “overvote,” or a ballot deemed to be too confusing to count by election judges, be counted in favor of Simonds’s Republican opponent, incumbent Del. David Yancey.


“I’m getting calls from all over the state and all over the country about this ballot,” Simonds said. “It was determined on Tuesday that that vote would not be counted because it was an overvote, and I agree with that decision.”

She added that it sounds “crazy” that control of Virginia’s House of Delegates, which would be split 50-50 for the first time in decades if Simonds wins, hangs in the balance.

An initial recount on Tuesday put Simonds one vote ahead of her opponent, before the “overvote” was counted.

“It does really sound crazy. I am holding onto my faith in the process,” she said. “I disagree with the court’s ruling, but we’re going to try to take some legal action, but I hope it doesn’t come down to pulling names out of a hat.”

“But you know, I still think the message is every vote counts,” Simonds added. “Every vote counts, and really it would be a great holiday gift to me if everybody could go out there and find somebody to register to vote.”

Virginia state law says that a tied House race will be decided “by lot,” which can include drawing names out of a hat or a coin toss. Virginia House Democratic leader David Toscano celebrated Simonds’s performance earlier in the week after she was initially announced as the winner after the recount.

“We are ecstatic to welcome Shelly Simonds to our caucus,” Toscano said in a statement. “We are one vote closer to expanding Medicaid and extending access to affordable health care to nearly 400,000 people.”

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