A three-judge panel in Virginia ruled Wednesday that a contested ballot in the race for the 94th District Virginia House of Delegates seat was a vote for the Republican incumbent, putting the race at a tie.
The judges unanimously agreed the ballot in question was a vote for Republican David Yancey, overturning a recount that occurred Tuesday and left Democrat Shelly Simonds ahead by a single vote.
The three-judge panel met Wednesday to certify the results of the recount, which showed Simonds received 11,608 votes and Yancey 11,607 votes. But the judges’ decision means the two are tied at 11,608 votes each.
According to WVEC, Yancey’s campaign challenged the ballot. A GOP election official wrote in a letter, which was given to the panel, saying he signed off on the ballot in question but was confused.
Both Simonds and Yancey’s names were bubbled in on the ballot, but the Democrat’s name was crossed out. According to WVEC, the official said the voter supported Republicans in the other races.
The judges decided to award the vote to Yancey.
The decision now heads to Virginia's board of elections, which will “determine by lot” which candidate is the winner.
Simonds’ victory in Tuesday’s recount led to an even split for control of the House of Delegates.
Republicans previously had control of the lower chamber for 17 years.