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Democrat Candidate Goes to Judge, Attempts to Stop Random Selection in Tied Virginia House Race

Democrat Candidate Goes to Judge, Attempts to Stop Random Selection in Tied Virginia House Race

Random selection of winning candidate may be delayed

https://youtu.be/fOzs5oj-W74

Democrat Candidate Shelly Simonds is attempting to stop the random selection of a winner for a tied Virginia House race.

Wednesday, the names of each candidate will be placed in separate film canisters. Those canisters will be placed into a larger container, then one will be drawn at random. The name drawn will be declared the winner of the race.

But not if Simonds is successful in her legal challenge.

NBC reports:

Democrat Shelly Simonds has asked the state Board of Elections to delay its planned Wednesday random-drawing tiebreaker in her race against incumbent Republican David Yancey.

The Board of Elections is set to meet Wednesday morning in Richmond to determine the winner of the hotly-contested House of Delegates race by randomly drawing the winner’s name, most likely out of a bowl.

Simonds’ lawyers, Jonathan Berkon and Ezra Reese, told reporters in a conference call Tuesday that “there isn’t any hurry” and a delay would allow for further review of the tie determination in the contest, 11,608 to 11,608.

Simonds’ camp has filed motions asking a court to declare her the winner and suspend a judges’ panel declaration of a tie last week, arguing that they should not have reviewed the discarded ballot that allowed the race to become tied up. The judges ruled that the previously tossed ballot should have been counted for Yancey, a decision that erased Simonds’ one-point victory and equalized the result.

That ballot in question had both candidates’ bubbles filled in but Simonds’ bubble had a slash mark through it and the judges interpreted that as meaning the voter didn’t want to vote for the Democrat.

After the Simonds’ campaign announced its request for a delay, a spokeswoman for the Board of Elections told NBC News it didn’t have “any further information at this time.”

The race was first declared a win for Simonds, but a judge later ruled the race was tied. If Simonds is eventually declared the winner, the seat flips from red to blue and leaves the Virginia House split 50-50.

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Comments

If this feels like a hanging chad approach … I wonder which selected polling station will be the focus of recount…and recount… and recount….

Commies Democrats will never accept a 50-50 proposition…

Keep it open, surely they will find a batch of uncounted ballots forgotten in the trunk of some poll official’s car. And that batch of previously uncounted ballots will have TWO (2) ballots more for Simonds.

Or maybe found in a county warehouse, as Kings County, WA has turned a win into a loss for a Republican.

    AFSarge in reply to Edward. | December 27, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    I think it was 2 republican wins, before they found enough ballots in the trunk of the car to turn the election.

    Sarge

Show me a Democrat who is willing to abide by a 50-50 chance. That’s for suckers. The Democrats prefer their electoral results a little more “Chicago style”…

Well, she’s right.

The candidate is supposed to be selected by an election.

No matter what some judge may think, there is no way to pretend that pulling a name out of a hat is an election.

Ergo, the winning candidate cannot be selected by pulling a name from a hat.

We either have a nation of laws, or we don’t. Election laws are laws. There is no justification—including convenience or expedience—for nullifying them on the fly.

If the count difference is zero (or, perhaps more reasonably, smaller than some probable error), then the election was fatally flawed. The only reasonable—albeit expensive—option is to hold another one.

    herm2416 in reply to tom_swift. | December 27, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Then why was The Cough allowed five districts by coin toss in Iowa during the caucus?

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | December 27, 2017 at 1:45 am

    The candidate is supposed to be selected by an election. [defined so as to exclude random selection]

    Says who? Can you cite the clause in the VA constitution?

    We either have a nation of laws, or we don’t. Election laws are laws.

    And those laws say that when an election results in a tie the seat is to be awarded at random. So what’s your problem with it?

    There is no justification—including convenience or expedience—for nullifying them on the fly.

    And yet that’s exactly what you’re advocating. Why?

    The only reasonable—albeit expensive—option is to hold another one.

    How is that a solution? There is no possible way it could determine the wishes of the electorate on the date set for their choices to be made, composed exactly as it was on that date (some will have died, become incapacitated or ineligible, or moved away), and knowing only what they knew on that date.

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | December 27, 2017 at 1:59 am

    § 24.2-674. Determination by lot in case of tie.

    If any two or more persons have an equal number of votes and a higher number than any other person […] the State Board of Elections shall proceed publicly to determine by lot which of them shall be declared elected. […]
    Any person who loses the determination by lot may petition for a recount pursuant to Article 1 (§ 24.2-800 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of this title.

      Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | December 27, 2017 at 12:57 pm

      This just demonstrates the sheer dishonesty of some of the commenters here. How does anyone downvote the freakin’ law?

        malclave in reply to Milhouse. | December 27, 2017 at 2:38 pm

        Maybe they don’t like the law. There are plenty I’d like to downvote.

          Milhouse in reply to malclave. | December 27, 2017 at 4:06 pm

          It doesn’t matter whether they like the law. The fact is that it is the law, and therefore the only possible decision the court could make, contrary to tom_swift.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | December 27, 2017 at 8:37 pm

        Honestly Milhouse a few of us discussed the downvote thing a couple of years ago and the most likely explanation is a bot that just comes in and downvotes everything every so often.

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | December 27, 2017 at 2:27 am

    Now there was once a case brought based on the principle you are proposing here. In Australia the election laws provide that the Returning Officer for each electorate does not vote unless there’s a tie. In 1985 it happened, and the Returning Officer decided to cast her vote by pulling a name out of a hat. The losing candidate challenged this, on the grounds that a vote, by definition, must be the result of some deliberative process or positive preference, and a purely mechanical process such as casting lots is not a vote. The court ended up invalidating the result on other grounds (it found 44 votes that were improperly counted or excluded) and calling a re-election, so it never reached this question and the matter remains undetermined.

    But that’s in a jurisdiction where the law designates a person to break ties by his/her own preference. Where the law calls for a random result then that’s the correct process.

    Me, I’d have been afraid to complain about the random process for fear that the Returning Officer would say “Fine, if you insist on a deliberative vote, I cast my vote against you”. In other words, I’d be reducing my chance from 50% to zero. And there’d be no way to challenge that; a voter is entitled to vote out of pique.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | December 27, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      So a presumed adult who had an very plain duty to cast a vote one way or the other and instead of making a decision and voting they decided to pull their vote out of a hat? Wow…just…Wow.

        Milhouse in reply to Gremlin1974. | December 27, 2017 at 10:52 pm

        Yes. Because she didn’t want to be seen to be taking sides, so she thought this would be a fair way to settle it.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | December 28, 2017 at 9:56 am

          If she isn’t adult enough to take a side then she doesn’t need to be in her position.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | December 28, 2017 at 5:51 pm

          Nonsense. Many people are uncomfortable making their vote public, which is why we have secret ballots. Add in the fact that electoral officials are expected to remain strictly neutral in public, never giving a hint of their secret preferences, if any; such a position is best suited to someone who has no such preferences, or to someone too shy to ever make them public. Then suddenly thrust on this person the duty of voting in full view of the whole district or the whole state, and it’s natural for her to try to come up with a way to fulfill that duty while staying apolitical. The question is whether she’s legally entitled to do so.

so perhaps then they should first look at all the invalidated votes, just to make sure they got those right.

If its still a tie then they should verify the legality of EVERYONE who voted! How hard could that be right?

If its still tied, go back to the ballot box and vote again, EU style! Keep voting until you get the right decision! 🙂

Democrats ALWAYS run to the courts whenever they have a problem with elections.

    Actually, it was the Republican who went to court to have a questionable ballot included in the vote tally. The Democrat is challenging that decision.

      Matt_SE in reply to Zachriel. | December 27, 2017 at 10:18 am

      A “questionable ballot” that all three judges agreed was a vote for him. Unanimity is kinda hard to argue against.

        The issue was that it was the Democrat who ALWAYS runs to the court, which was false. However, the Democrat certainly has a right to contest the decision.

        As to whether the ballot was questionable, tell us how you made the determination of the voter’s intent?

          malclave in reply to Zachriel. | December 27, 2017 at 2:43 pm

          True, “always” was an obvious exaggeration. But they do seem much more likely to attempt to subvert an election.

          Matt_SE in reply to Zachriel. | December 27, 2017 at 8:43 pm

          *I* didn’t make any determination, the judges did.
          You know, the people with “judge” in their title.

          Matt_SE: *I* didn’t make any determination, the judges did.

          That’s right, and part of the judicial system is judicial review.

          You can look at the ballot yourself. How do you justify the decision? Is this an equitable standard applied to all ballots?

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Zachriel. | December 28, 2017 at 10:07 am

          Well every other vote was for the republican candidate and it does look crossed out. So I don’t think it is a great leap to determine the intent to be another vote for the republican.

          My question is if it is possible to contact the voter and if so why hasn’t anyone done so?

          Gremlin1974: Well every other vote was for the republican candidate and it does look crossed out.

          There’s an ‘X’ through the vote for governor. Does that mean we don’t count the vote for governor? There’s no way to unambiguously determine the voter’s preference.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Zachriel. | December 28, 2017 at 1:25 pm

          @Zachriel The vote for Gov. is irrelevant since it was obvious which she was voting for, not the same for the vote in question. It is pretty obvious that she began to fill out the wrong circle and put a slash through it then completely filled in the bubble for the republican.

          Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | December 28, 2017 at 5:52 pm

          My question is if it is possible to contact the voter and if so why hasn’t anyone done so?

          Um, secret ballot.

          Gremlin1974: The vote for Gov. is irrelevant

          Actually, you were the one who said to look at “every other vote”. In the vote for governor, you are saying the slash marks are for the candidate, while in the vote for delegate it means just the opposite.

I agree. They should find one more vote for the Republican and just give him the win.

Actually, the questionable ballot was not questionable, it was inappropriately filled out. As it is impossible to determine the voter’s intent, you either have to discard the ballot or count it for BOTH candidates. In the ballot case, I think that Ms. Simonds has a reasonable complaint if it was counted for Yancey.

If the voter changed his or her mind, then that person should have taken the ballot to a poll worker, had it nullified or destroyed and used another one.

    Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | December 27, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    The voter’s intent was plain. The Simonds vote was crossed out, so it was obviously a mistake. People do that.

    Yes, if voting in person the voter should have asked for a new ballot, but the whole point of voter intent laws is to count exactly this sort of ballot, where the voter got it wrong but there’s no dispute about what they meant to do. And maybe the voter either didn’t realize this would be a problem, or couldn’t get a new ballot because they voted absentee.

      Milhouse: The Simonds vote was crossed out, so it was obviously a mistake.

      So was the vote for the Republican for governor.

        Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | December 28, 2017 at 5:59 pm

        And therefore? Perhaps the vote for governor was also a mistake, and the voter decided not to vote in that contest. Or perhaps, since it was the first contest on the ballot, the voter started voting with an X, and only then realized that the correct method was to fill in the bubble so s/he did that as well, and continued to do so in all the subsequent contests. Out of doubt, I would not count it for governor; but I would count it for Yancey.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Mac45. | December 27, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    How do you determine it was “inappropriately filled out”? Have you seen the ballot?

The counting will continue until a result shows a Democrat win.

Then, HISTORIC!!!

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