Virginia Chooses House Delegate Winner By Drawing Names From A Bowl

After going back and forth for months, Virginia declared Republican David Yancey winner of the state House of Delegates race by pulling his name from a bowl.

Pieces of paper with the names of Democrat Shelly Simonds and Republican David Yancey

Some might consider pulling names from a hat or bowl to decide someone's fate as juvenile or amateur, but in Virginia, it is a welcomed extension of the Democratic process.

Incumbent Republican David Yancey was named the winner of a super close Virginia state House of Delegates race after his name was pulled from a ceramic bowl, according to Bloomberg.

The race previously ended in a tie between Yancey and his Democratic opponent, Shelley Simonds. Yancey’s declared win, however, keeps the Republicans as the majority in the House. But Simonds could still ask for another recount.

Bloomberg described the scene as a large crowd packed into the room where the Virginia elections board meeting was being held, which consisted mostly of reporters and Simonds’ supporters. Yancey, himself, wasn’t even present.

The candidates’ names were printed on pieces of paper and placed in separate film canisters which were then put into a cobalt-blue-and-white ceramic bowl. After stirring the bowl around, Yancey’s name was pulled first.

After Yancey’s name was announced to the room, there was a long moment of silence. Interestingly, even the few Yancey supporters in attendance didn’t cheer. Once election officials certified that Yancey was the winner, Simonds spoke to the media.

“This is a sad conclusion for me," she said.

Apparently, this outcome follows an ongoing back and forth that has been occurring since the November elections. Initially, Simonds seemed to have lost the election by 10 votes, but on Dec. 19, she won a recount by one single vote. Unfortunately, her victory was short-lived as a three-panel judge declared a tie the following day, citing a previously uncounted vote for Yancey. 

Although a conclusion was long overdue, this method seems to tarnish the credibility of the election. Can you, in good faith, really consider yourself an elected official if you won by luck of the draw? 

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