Plans to prevent an infinite recount loop appear to be on track for passage in Richmond. On Friday, the House Privileges and Elections Committee unanimously supported a bill from Del. Marcus Simon of Falls Church that would clearly state only one recount is permitted. After a Newport News delegate race recount ended in a controversial tie, there were questions about whether state law would have allowed a second due to conflicting statutes. The full House could approve the bill next week and send it to the Senate. A bill sent to the full House — sponsored by the committee chairman, Del. Mark Cole of the Fredericksburg area — would address the issues in Cole’s district and the adjoining 28th District, where at least 147 voters cast ballots in the wrong races Nov. 7.
The bill would allow a voter who realizes he or she is getting the wrong ballot in a split precinct to vote in each race with separate provisional ballots. The local electoral board would then sort out which ballot should be counted.
That would have helped the handful of voters who realized there was a problem at the polls Nov. 7.
The committee also narrowly approved bills that would significantly change the State Board of Elections and that would take away the governor’s power to appoint someone to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy until a special election.