Control of Virginia’s legislature hung in limbo Wednesday after a three-judge panel declined to certify the recount of a key House race, saying that a questionable ballot should be counted in favor of the Republican and tying a race that Democrats thought they had won by a single vote.
“The court declares there is no winner in this election,” Newport News Circuit Court Judge Bryant L. Sugg said after the panel deliberated for more than two hours.
He said that the ballot in question contained a mark for Democrat Shelly Simonds as well as a mark for Republican Del. David Yancey but that the voter had made another mark to strike out Simonds’s name.
Officials presiding over the five-hour recount on Tuesday had discarded that ballot en route to a historic reversal of the original election outcome. Yancey had emerged from Election Day with a 10-vote lead in the 94th District, but the recount uncovered enough additional ballots for Simonds to give her a one-vote victory.
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