A three- judge panel declined to certify the recount of a key House race today, saying that a questionable ballot should be counted in favor of the Republican and tying a race that Democrats had thought they had won by a single vote. “The court declares there is no winner in this election,” said Newport News Circuit Court Judge Bryant L. Sugg, after the judges deliberated for more than two hours. He said 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’ name.
Election officials presiding over the five-hour recount on Tuesday had discarded that ballot. But Republicans challenged that decision in court Wednesday, saying the voter had selected every other Republican on the ballot and intended to vote for Yancey.
The court’s decision leaves the race for the 94th District tied at 11,608 votes each for Yancey and Simonds.
And it leaves the balance of power in the state legislature at 50-49, in favor of Republicans – at least for now.