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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