Recounts expected following tight races in the Va. House

Va House races too close to call

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) --- Three Virginia House of Delegates races are too close to call. Just 12 votes separate Republican incumbent David Yancey from democrat Shelly Simonds in the 94th District. 

It could mean a handful of recounts across the state will decide who controls the General Assembly for the next two years.     

Elections officials say the final vote count has not been finalized because elections offices in cities and counties still have a few days to count ballots.

Elections offices must have a count by Wednesday to the State Board of Elections. The Board has until Nov. 20 to present a certified final tally.

Jesse Richman is a political science professor at Old Dominion University. He says offices haven't counted provisional ballots, where people vote without ID's at the time the vote was placed. Virginia requires an ID to vote, but provisional ballots are submitted without ID's. If a voter did not bring their ID with them on election day, they have until noon on Monday to show it to their election office. 

Add to that, three or four close races and candidates are already talking about recounts.

"If their race is within one percent, they can request a recount," said Richman.

Richman said recounts are a big deal "because control of the House of Delegates is in the balance."

Right now, there are 51 Republicans to 49 Democrats in the House of Delegates.

"So all it would take is one race, including there are some places where it's within just a few votes," said Richman.

If there is a recount, Richman said the results will most likely have the same winner. 

“The candidate who's ahead is ahead because in the current canvass they have more votes," said Richman.

Lawyers also get involved if there's demand for a recount. They handle disagreements or questions around deciding which ballot should or shouldn't be counted, which could change the outcome.

Democrats made a filing in court Thursday in Newport News to get a list of rejected absentee ballots and the reasons they were rejected. A hearing before a judge Thursday will be continued Monday.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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