Single Vote Margin in Virginia House Race Shows Need to Prevent Even Small-Scale Voter Fraud (UPDATE: Judges Rule It’s A Tie)
The Republican had a 10 vote lead last week.
UPDATE: Judges in Virginia have accepted a challenge to one ballot, so now it’s a tie:
3 judge panel agrees rules single ballot is a vote for Yancey. 94th district is tied.
— Matt Gregory (@MattGregoryNews) December 20, 2017
A recount over a seat in the Virginia state legislature has handed a win to Democrat Shelly Simonds by a single vote. Last week, the Republican David Yancey had a 10 vote lead.
FOX News reports:
Democrat wins Virginia House seat in recount by single vote
The recount was one of four scheduled for House races that ended with extremely tight margins. The 94th District had by far the slimmest vote difference and the biggest chance of flipping.
Last week, Republican Del. Tim Hugo held onto his seat in Fairfax County after a recount had a marginal impact on his 100-plus vote lead. Two more recounts are set to take place on Wednesday and Thursday for districts in and around Richmond and in the Fredericksburg area.
If Democrats and Republicans ultimately find themselves evenly split, a messy dynamic could unfold. The parties may have to compromise just to elect a speaker and assign committee chairmanships.
The last time Virginia’s House was evenly divided was 20 years ago, when the parties reached a power-sharing agreement. But if no agreement can be reached, prolonged chaos could ensue…
Speaking at lunchtime, long before the recount ended, Simonds said she was optimistic that lawmakers could find compromise and get things done in Richmond despite a split chamber.
“I’m an optimistic person,” she said. “We can work with Republicans.”
Here’s a video report from the local ABC News affiliate:
Democrats claim there’s no need for voter ID but elections like this one highlight how even a small number of fraudulent votes could potentially swing an election.
Kevin Robillard of Politico has more on the implications of Simonds’ win:
One-vote recount win gives Democrats tie in Virginia state House
A power-sharing agreement in the House could help Democrats fulfill their long-standing goal of expanding Medicaid coverage in the state. Outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe has pushed for expansion, only for the state’s GOP-dominated Legislature to reject his pleas. In a statement, the Democratic leader in the House of Delegates made clear he hoped Simonds’ win would lead to Medicaid expansion.
“We are one vote closer to expanding Medicaid and extending access to affordable health care to nearly 400,000 people,” Del. David Toscano said. “Let’s get this done.”…
Simonds, who previously ran for the seat in 2015 and lost, credited a surge of Democratic enthusiasm for the upset victory.
“What a difference this is from 2015 when I ran before,” she said. “Everyone came out and we rocked this town. I want to thank everyone who supported us over the course of this campaign. Whether it was knocking on doors, posting on social media or donating a few dollars, it all made a difference and added up to an amazing outcome on Election Day.”
Republicans already have a full plate as far as goals go but they should add voter ID to their agenda if possible. Races that are won by votes in the single digits would sit better with voters if there was no question about the integrity of the outcome.
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It also shows the need to get butts off the couch and go vote.
Mike LaChance: Democrats claim there’s no need for voter ID but elections like this one highlight how even a small number of fraudulent votes could potentially swing an election.
Virginia already has a court-approved voter ID requirement. Notably, they accept many different forms of ID, including student photo IDs and government-issued IDs, as well as free state photo ID cards, and offer provisional ballots for problems at the polls.
Excellent, so voter ID systems do work without disenfranchising people. So remind me again why they’re not used everywhere?
Paul: Excellent, so voter ID systems do work without disenfranchising people. So remind me again why they’re not used everywhere?
Because supporters of voter ID laws often use them for partisan (e.g. allowing gun licenses, but not student IDs) and even racist purposes (i.e. specifically tailored to reduce minority turnout).
You’re going to have to back that up with examples to get any traction with that nonsense. And before you start spewing off, you must show one that doesn’t allow a driver’s license or state issued ID as the universally accepted identification requirements regardless of other allowable forms.
healthguyfsu: You’re going to have to back that up with examples to get any traction with that nonsense.
The 4th Circuit ruled that North Carolina explicitly set out to discover the kind of accommodations that minority voters use most often and then to roll back or eliminate them, targeting African Americans “with almost surgical precision.”
Alabama passed a law to require DMV-issued IDs, then closed most of the DMVs in black areas of the state.
Again, you have to back up the whole closing DMVs in black areas conspiracy theory with real data. Did they close as part of some nefarious plot or because of budget cuts and lack of necessity? Mother Jones articles won’t cut it.
You are grasping a few straws and trying to draw them into some racist narrative. Everyone in the US can get a driver’s license or state issued ID. It’s accessible and it’s a minimal requirement for identification for more than just voter laws. Any thinly stretched foil narratives you hash out are weak because you can’t get past that point.
Your NC story was complete hogwash by the way. Again, it is completely nullified by the fact that any voter ID law begins with use of driver’s license or state issued ID.
healthguyfsu: Again, you have to back up the whole closing DMVs in black areas conspiracy theory with real data.
Sure. The cost savings were about $300,000 in a $25 billion state budget. As for the distribution of closings, in every county with at least 75% black population, every DMV was closed. Of the majority white counties, 72% remained open.
healthguyfsu: Everyone in the US can get a driver’s license or state issued ID.
Approximately 8% of whites do not have a photo ID, 25% of blacks. Some older Americans no longer drive, and don’t have current IDs. Some older Americans were never issued birth certificates, so have had troubles getting the required documentation.
healthguyfsu: Your NC story was complete hogwash by the way.
In fact, that was the unanimous finding of the 4th circuit that black voters were targeted “with almost surgical precision” and “imposed cures for problems that did not exist.” The Supreme Court refused to hear the Republicans appeal.
Again, voter ID laws can be made to work, but it requires common agreement that people who have the right to vote should not be disenfranchised.
The reason you Progressive Fascists oppose voter ID is that you rely on cheating to win racists like that of Franken. You found just enough votes in the trunk of someone’s car to give him the win.
Actually, we support voter ID, but it has to be approached in a bipartisan manner so as to not disenfranchise voters.
There is a very good reason why gun permits are allowed as ID and student IDs are not.
Gun permits are state-issued identification that has a photo on it and is only issued after performing a background check.
Student IDs can be issued by private colleges with no photo and no proof of identity.
Come on, its basic common sense!
TZak: Student IDs can be issued by private colleges with no photo and no proof of identity.
State colleges are government institutions. They are not allowed for the purpose of voting in many Republican-controlled states because students often vote Democratic.
Not to mention that Student IDs are NOT proof of residency. Many, if not most, students are residents of states other than the one in which they attend college. Unless they intend to stay there and take active measures to establish residency (such as getting a Driver’s License there), they are not eligible to vote there.
As a former military member, I am very familiar with residency requirements since you can keep your home state residency during your service. I voted by absentee ballot in my home state for 16 years while stationed elsewhere in the US.
Formerly known as Skeptic: Not to mention that Student IDs are NOT proof of residency. Many, if not most, students are residents of states other than the one in which they attend college.
The Supreme Court has ruled that students can vote in the place where they live while going to school. See Symm v. United States 1979.
A student ID is not evidence of residency. The student can live out of state, or out of the congressional district.
ID at the polls is the smallest part of preventing fraud. It could easily be replaced with the inked-finger thing that they use in 3rd-world countries. Far more important is checking registrations to verify eligibility. and of course in Virginia we had the perfectly legal but unprecedented and not exactly honest mass-issuance of pardons to felons, which must surely have swung this result.
Milhouse: and of course in Virginia we had the perfectly legal but unprecedented and not exactly honest mass-issuance of pardons to felons, which must surely have swung this result.
Not sure why you think it was less than honest. Most states allow felons to vote once they have served their sentences. And people have long been able to receive return of their civil rights through the governor’s office.
wow, you really are a special snowflake aren’t you?
It was less than honest because these pardons were not based on the applicant’s individual circumstances but on a general policy that anyone who wants one can get it. Yes, most states allow felons to vote once they have served their sentences, but Virginia doesn’t, and the governor has no right to unilaterally change that policy. He was given the power to pardon people if in his considered opinion they deserved it; but he was deliberately denied the power to mass-pardon broad categories of people, as the US president can. It was dishonest of him to turn that power into a rubber stamp, in order to effectively nullify the state’s decision to disenfranchise felons.
I have never understood why people presume that the later a count is the more accurate it is. Surely error is just as likely in the second count as it is in the first. I would think that when the result is that close we should keep counting until we get the same result twice in a row.
Franken’s election in Minnesota involved several recounts where the incumbent Coleman won all but the last. That was it, no more recounts and the office belong to Franken.
Of course, new found ballots tipped the scale in that election.
I think I’d ask for another recount
I think I’d ask supporters for a “day of rage.”
Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 felons violates Virginia’s constitution, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday …
who do you think these paragons of society voted for ?
4th armored div: Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 felons violates Virginia’s constitution, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday
That report is from July 2016, which disallowed a mass restoration. Since then, the governor has issued individual restorations.
Yes, which is why I said it was perfectly legal, but not exactly honest.
The intent of the restoration of voting privileges was to have been done on an individual basis, considering the merits of each individual. The way the Governor managed it was to run through the process to get voting restored for everybody, with no consideration of merits. It violated the spirit of the law. Unethical, but not illegal. Still stinks.
Ever notice how recounts always favor Democrats? Somehow they always seem able to find a few more Dem votes.
“Chaos to ensue” ….good…..every day the Legislature is in session is a danger to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Yancey was a good guy, hope they counted my vote for him. He helped head off a McAuliffe backed attempt to circumvent management of some state retirement plans to one of his crony buddies.
There are many ways to commit vote fraud and requiring state-issued photo ID is only one of them. That being said, the argument that requiring such ID somehow suppresses the vote is ridiculous.
Photo ID, usually state-issued, is required to utilize any interstate common carrier, including airlines, trains and buses. many check cashing businesses, liquor distributors and tobacco distributors require photo ID. Most banks require state-issued photo ID to open a personal bank account and to cash third party checks. So, claiming that it is impossible for the poor to get a state-issued photo ID is ridiculous, since almost all of these services are utilized by the poor and require state-issued ID. There is no evidence that requiring a state-issued ID card depresses voting.
It is interesting that the Republicans are not suing to overturn photo ID requirements for voting, only the Democrats. Is it possible that the Republicans do not benefit from persons, other than the registered voter, voting in elections?
Remember also there are states who freely give away drivers licenses to illegal aliens, even those from other states who are willing to lie about where they live.
Mac45: There is no evidence that requiring a state-issued ID card depresses voting.
See Hajnal et al., Voter Identification Laws and the Suppression of Minority Votes, The Journal of Politics 2017. Also see Barreto et al., The Disproportionate Impact
of Voter-ID Requirements on the Electorate—New Evidence from Indiana, Political Science & Politics 2009.
I suggest that you Hajnal in toto. The one thing that Hajnal never seems to explain is why the white voter turnout is the same in states were virtually the same regardless of whether strict voter ID laws were in effect or not. It never presents a solid conclusion as to why this is true. It offers all kind of maybe this and possibly that explanations such as minority voters feel intimidated if they have to produce ID to vote [something which apparently does not stop them from cashing checks or buying liquor]. Simply saying that fewer minorities vote in states with strict voter ID laws is like saying that a pound of lead weighs less under those circumstances while a pound of gold does not. The question is not whether it happens but why? Is it because fewer minority voters have photo ID? Is it that there is less voter fraud in states with strict photo ID laws and that voter fraud is more likely among minorities? If it is the latter, then that is exactly the goal of strict voter ID laws. Hajnal admits that he has NO answer to these questions. Maybe we should find out?
Mac45: The question is not whether it happens but why? Is it because fewer minority voters have photo ID? Is it that there is less voter fraud in states with strict photo ID laws and that voter fraud is more likely among minorities?
You said there was no evidence that requiring a photo ID depressed turn-out. You’re welcome.
As to why the turn-out is depressed, the evidence is that in-person voter fraud is very rare. For a black living in the South, a region with a long history of racial oppression, and as we saw in North Carolina and Alabama, voter ID laws have been specifically crafted to reduce minority turnout.
You should know you have a losing hand regarding voter ID when President Carter and the UN think it is a good idea. Mexico has voter photo ID card.
With a multi-trillion dollar welfare economy, and Democrat institutional diversity (e.g. racism), there is no excuse for any American to be unable to provide positive identification. The only possible defense is to disenfranchise Americans. As was done through Democrat collusion with diversity rackets, media and press, and foreign entities and sovereigns, in order to suppress voting and influence the democratic process. The corruption in public, private, and press institutions is clear and progressive.
Voter ID is useless because a valid driver’s license is acceptable. All that proves is that it’s you on the license. In 2010 McDonough tried to ensure illegal aliens don’t get driver’s licenses; but Punk McAuliffe cared more about winning than about electoral integrity. With governors like McAuliffe, the country needs a better voter ID that will work all across the country.
The country needs a national ID system controlled by the Feds, not the States, that should be the only acceptable ID for voting. That ID should be verified by Fed databases to ensure that illegal aliens do not vote in elections.
1. Voter ID is not at all useless. It’s just not as useful as its proponents claim. It’s necessary but far from sufficient.
2. Why this obsession with illegal aliens? It stands to reason that legal aliens are much more likely to vote than illegal ones.
3. National ID and eligibility standards are, if not unconstitutional, certainly against the spirit of federalism. Deciding who gets the franchise is primarily the states’ business, within the limits explicitly set by the constitution.
Deciding who gets the franchise is primarily the states’ business
This part of the theory has been in decline since the Presidential election of 1876, when several ex-Confederate states thought it their business to prevent freedmen from voting. It caused quite a bit of excitement in Washington, and ended up keeping Samuel Tilden out of the White House.
On the contrary, this principle has been maintained intact through several constitutional amendments to expand the franchise. Why is it that there has never been an amendment that says “X shall have the franchise”? Instead they all say “States, which by default have the right to restrict the franchise any way they like, shall not do so because of X”. That means they can keep doing so for any other reason.