The entire scape of the Virginia state legislature was changed Tuesday after a recount finalized a Democrat’s victory in a seat formerly held by a Republican with a margin of just one vote.
Democrat Shelly Simonds emerged from the recount as the winner of the 94th District of the House of Delegates, defeating Republican incumbent David Yancey, The Washington Post reports. There were 23,866 votes cast in this district on Election Day, and when the first results were counted, Yancey held only a 10-vote lead over Simonds.
After the recount, the final tally is 11,608 votes for Simonds to 11,607 for Yancey.
This is a historic victory for the Democrats, who having flipped the seat to now share a 50-50 tie with the Republicans for control of the Virginia House of Delegates. According to the Post, legislation in the house requires 51 votes to pass, and there is no mechanism to break ties.
Simonds’ victory is the capstone win of a wave election for the Democrats in the state of Virginia. A single voter is responsible for bringing the Virginia legislature to a possible stalemate for the next two years.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your vote doesn’t matter.
Update: A crazy race keeps getting crazier. NBC news reports that the Virginia Board of Elections announced last Thursday that it would pick the winner of this race by drawing a name from a bowl. The race became tied after a three-judge panel ruled that one discarded vote for Republican candidate Yancey should have been counted, leaving each candidate with 11,608 votes. The name will be drawn on Wednesday, December 27.
Editor's note: This article was originally published with the title "Virginia Democrat wins election by one vote".