Dec 22, 2017

Virginia Democrat looking at 'legal options' as race remains in limbo

Democrat Shelly Simonds won the Virginia House of Delegates seat in a recount by one vote. Photo: Julia Rendleman for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Virginia House Democratic candidate Shelly Simonds told CNN today that her team is considering legal action if a recent court ruling resulting in a tie between her and her Republican opponent is not undone.

Key quote: "My team followed the rules of the recount process. And the other side really didn't. So we are looking at our legal options for undoing that ruling.”

Timeline: On Tuesday, Simonds took the Virginia House of Delegates seat from Republican incumbent Del. David Yancey after a recount had her in the lead by a single vote. The next day, a three-judge panel counted a disputed ballot and awarded it to Yancey. With each receiving 11,608 votes, the legislature now has a rare 50-50 split.The back story: The ballot in question features a filled-in bubble with an X over it for gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, per The Virginian-Pilot. Both of Simonds and Yancey's bubbles were filled in, but Simonds' bubble had a mark over it.

What's next: The winner — and control of the legislature – will be decided at random. According to Virginia law, the local electoral board will determine "by lot which of the candidates shall be declared elected." In this case, per The Virginian-Pilot, the board will place pieces of paper with each candidate's name and put them into two film canister. They would then be placed into a clear bowl, shuffled, a canister will be picked and the winner revealed. The drawing will take place on Dec. 27th.

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

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