Letters to the Editor: December 28, 2017 – January 3, 2018
Simonds is the Rightful Winner in District 94
Shelly Simonds is the rightful winner of the House of Delegates District 94 (Newport News) race.
If one party, in this case the Republicans are allowed to dispute ballots after the recount process Virginian elections will be stuck in recount land forever. Thereby, making Virginian elections an endless loop.
In case you haven’t been following the HD94 election, at the conclusion of election day, November th, Simonds’s opponent was in the lead by 10 points. Since the difference was less than 1 percent, Virginia election rules specify an automatic recount. Therefore on Tuesday, December 20th, each ballot was reviewed by a pair of volunteer observers — one Democrat and one Republican. Based on the rules outlined during the recount day they looked at the ballots and decided if each was admissible or not. The pairs were responsible for making each decision and they made them that day. The result of the recount was that Shelly Simonds became the Delegate-Elect by one vote. End of story.
The House GOP Caucus and the House Democratic Caucus recognized Delegate-Elect Simonds.
Nevertheless, her opponent picked one ballot to dispute — claiming that it was a ballot for him. The next day when a court was supposed to procedurally certify the recounts, the three judges instead decided to overturn the dually conducted recount process and allow one ballot to be counted for Simonds’ opponent. The next steps get murky and begin a path to nowhere.
At what point is an election called? Proper recount procedure was followed. That the result did not end up with two winners is expected and necessary for democratic elections. Allowing dispute over one ballot after the recount procedure was completed is un-democratic and a threat to the Virginia election process. Shelly Simonds is the Delegate-Elect for District 94.
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