DEC
2018
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Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
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Frank Bernheisel
Posted 11.7.18
Just Outside Washington

FRANK BERNHEISEL

Does One Vote Matter?

In Virginia, where I live, the election of November 2017 had all 100 Delegates to the Virginia Assembly running in the election. (Virginia holds its elections for all state offices on odd years; a bad idea.) Going in to the election, the Republican Party held a 66 - 34 majority and the Democratic Party was eager to win seats. The race in the race for the 94th District of the House of Delegates, which encompasses most of Newport News, had two candidates, Democrat Shelly Simons and Republican David Yancey.

In the vote counts following the election, the results of four races were subjected to recounts or legal proceedings. In the 94th District, the Virginia State Board of Elections certified Yancey as the winner by 10 votes. Simonds requested a recount, which resulted in Simonds winning by a single vote -- 11,608 to 11,607. Then Yancey requested a recount; the result was an exact tie.

The two candidates, Democrat Shelly Simons and Republican David Yancey, each received exactly 11,608 votes, according to a recount. The three-judge panel declared that there was no winner. So the balance of the House of Delegates was at 50 - 49 in the Republicans' favor until the race was resolved through drawing lots, as per state law. On January 4, 2018, the race was decided by a coin toss and Republican David Yancey was declared the winner.

Does One Vote Matter? The answer my friends is: You Betcha.

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