NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC)-- When the day began, Democratic Challenger Shelly Simonds was trailing Republican incumbent David Yancey by 13 votes. Now, she is three votes closer.
That's because in the extremely hotly contested 94th District House of Delegates race, it came down today to the counting of provisional ballots from last Tuesday's election.
Members of the city's electoral board sifted through them, and when it was all over, there was a slight change.
"Simonds had seven, Yancey had four, so there's been a change in the numbers," said Sean Devlin, chairman of the Newport News Electoral Doard. "The difference in now ten.
Simonds liked the sound of that.
"I'm really optimistic about this recount," she said. "We will be requesting a recount. It's really not over yet."
Christopher Newport University political analyst Quentin Kidd said such a close contest is unusual.
"We sometimes forget that every vote does count because the vast majority of elections aren't decided by some small size, but it's occasions like this that we really realize every vote really does count."
Kidd notes there's more at stake than just Simonds and Yancey. If two other closely contested races flip, the 94th contest truly matters because it could be the one that determines which party controls the Virginia House of Delegates.
Kidd says there are major differences in how the two candidates think, and that would be on full display in the General Assembly.
"They disagree on the expansion of Medicaid, they disagree in certificates of public need for hospitals," he said. "They disagree on a women's right to choose an abortion. There are several serious issues where they do disagree and where there would be meaningful differences between one or the other going to the General Assembly."
Republican incumbent Yancey is said to be upbeat.Although 13 News Now did not get to speak with him today, his spokeswoman told the t.v. station: "We are confident we will prevail. He's going to continue to be the delegate."
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