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Tied Virginia House race to be settled by random draw

By Daniel Uria

Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A tied race that will determine the balance of Virginia's House of Delegates will be settled by drawing a name from a bowl, the state's Board of Elections said Thursday.

Virginia Board of Elections chairman, James Alcorn, said the drawing to settle the tie between Democrat Shelly Simonds and Republican Del. David Yancey will take place on Dec. 27 at 11 a.m.

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Each candidate's name will be printed on pieces of paper cut to the same size and placed in old film canisters the Election Department has on hold. The canisters will then be placed in a bowl and shaken up before a board member will pick a canister and declare the person whose name is written inside the winner.

Simonds appeared to have evened the House at 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats for the first time in 17 years when she defeated Yancey by a single vote after gaining 11 votes in a recount on Tuesday.

The next day, a three-judge panel determined a questionable ballot that contained a mark for both Simonds and Yancey should count in favor of Yancey because the voter made another mark to strike out Simonds' name and clearly selected every other Republican on the ballot.

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The decision left both candidates tied at 11,608 votes each.

Alcorn said the film canister process has never been used to pick a winner in a race and the loser has the opportunity to request another recount.

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