Republicans on Friday asked a three-judge panel in Virginia to stick by its decision to count a disputed ballot in a squeaker legislative race, a ruling that threw the contest — and control of the House of Delegates — into limbo. House Republicans were responding to a motion Democrats had filed Wednesday, asking a recount court to reverse itself and declare Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds the winner over Del. David E. Yancey (Newport News) by a margin of one vote. A win by Simonds would split the 100-seat House down the middle, forcing a rare power-sharing arrangement on a chamber that Republicans have controlled for 17 years.
Also Friday, the state Board of Elections announced that it will move ahead with plans to pick a winner through a random drawing at 11 a.m. Thursday unless the court signals its intention to weigh in.
A previously scheduled drawing — called off Wednesday as Simonds sought to toss the race back to the recount court — had attracted national attention as an unusual way to settle a highly consequential election. Board members said then that they would prefer to have the court decide the race.