Virginia’s on-again, off-again drawing to break a tie in a state House race is back on, with the winner’s name to be ceremoniously plucked from a bowl on Thursday in Richmond. But the drawing, the latest chapter in an election melodrama that has drawn wide attention, may fail to bring finality, since the loser can request a recount — which would be the second recount of the original vote. At 11 a.m. in a building named for Patrick Henry, adjacent to the State Capitol, Virginia’s Board of Elections plans to chose the winner of House District 94 “by lot,’’ as state law specifies. The proceedings will be live-streamed. The only thing that might intervene is a winter storm headed for the Mid-Atlantic states, James Alcorn, the chairman of the elections board, said on Twitter.
An earlier drawing was canceled when the Democratic candidate, Shelly Simonds, asked a recount court overseeing the race to reconsider an ambiguous ballot for her opponent, David Yancey, a Republican. The court had already decided to count the ballot in question for Mr. Yancey on Dec. 20, deadlocking the race at 11,608 votes apiece. A day earlier, Ms. Simonds, a Newport News school board member, had been one vote ahead after the hand inspection of ballots in the first recount.
On Wednesday, the three-judge recount court rejected Ms. Simonds’s motions filed last week to intervene. So the drawing is on, a spectacle whose rarity is compounded by the fact that it is not just one seat at stake, but the balance of power in the state’s lower chamber, which calls itself the oldest elected legislative body in the United States.