The Democratic candidate in a tied race for Virginia House of Delegates plans to file a lawsuit over a contested ballot ahead of a random drawing Wednesday that would have ultimately decide the winner — but that drawing has now been postponed.
The Newport News Circuit Court ruled last week a contested ballot was a vote for Republican incumbent David Yancey, overturning a recount that left Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds ahead by a single vote.
With the court’s ruling, Yancey and Simonds were tied with 11,608 votes each.
But Simonds will ask the court to reverse its ruling, according to the Washington Post.
Because the court was closed Tuesday, the Democrat’s lawyers will file the lawsuit Wednesday. The lawsuit argues the three-judge panel made a “clear legal error…[that] ran contrary to Virginia law” in accepting the contested ballot.
“[T]hese decisions were manifestly unjust and if followed by other recount courts, will create both unfair and inaccurate processes for future recounts,” the lawsuit states, according to the Washington Post.
The State Board of Elections postponed a meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning, per the request of Simonds, where the Virginia Board of Elections was set to meet and determine the winner of the race after drawing names from film canisters placed in a bowl, according to WTKR News.
Simonds’ lawyers requested the drawing be delayed “until the three-judge recount panel has an opportunity to rule on” motions for suspension and reconsideration, Politico reported.
“A decision by the three-judge recount panel to suspend its order and reconsider its determination that the recount between Mrs. Simonds and David Yancey ended in a tie could moot the need for the Board to hold the drawing at all,” the lawyers wrote in an email, according to Politico.
If Yancey wins, Republicans will keep their majority in the House of Delegates. But if Simonds wins, Republicans and Democrats will hold the same number of seats in the lower chamber, ending 17 years of GOP control.