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Virginia Election Recount
Election officials in Newport News, Va., examine ballots that a computer failed to scan during a recount for a House of Delegates race on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. Republican incumbent Del. David Yancey had won against Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds by just 10 votes in November. (AP Photo/Ben Finley)

Virginia officials will randomly pick the winner of a tied House of Delegates race

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The Virginia Board of Elections will randomly decide the winner of a tied race for a pivotal seat in the state’s House of Delegates, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

The Pilot on Thursday reported that the high-stakes move will determine which political party controls Virginia’s state House.

James Alcorn, the chairman of the elections board, on Thursday announced that the determining moment is scheduled for Dec. 27.

The result will determine whether incumbent Del. David Yancey (R-Newport News) or challenger Shelly Simonds (D) will take a seat representing Virginia’s 94th House District.

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The winner will be picked using a procedure that is typically employed for determining the order of candidates on Virginia’s ballots each election cycle.

Pieces of paper with each candidate’s name will be printed and then cut to the same size, before the materials are placed in old film canisters Virginia’s Election Department has on hold.

The canisters are next placed in a bowl and thoroughly shaken, only for a board member to pick one revealing the winner’s name.

The loser of the race – which will have a major impact on the state House’s balance of power – can then request a recount if they desire.

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The random drawing may happen at 11 a.m. on Dec. 27 at the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond.

Yancey won the race on Election Night last month by 10 votes, only for Simonds to seemingly win a recount by a single ballot Tuesday.

A three-judge panel on Wednesday, however, declared the contest a tie after deciding one irregular, uncounted ballot should go to Yancey.

Yancey winning would continue roughly 20 years of GOP control over Virginia’s House, giving them a slim 51-49 majority.

Simonds emerging victorious, in contrast, would deadlock the two political parties, making it more likely only a more bipartisan agenda could move forward there.

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