Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Yancey asks court to reject a challenge to its decision declaring a tie

Shelly Simonds and David Yancey tied for the 94th House of Delegates seat in the Nov. 7, 2017 election. (File photo/WYDaily)

A Republican delegate asked a court in Newport News Friday to reject a challenge to its decision declaring the race a tie.

The move comes on the heels of ten days of turmoil in the 94th house district.

Almost two months after the November election, the winner of the race between Shelly Simonds, the Democratic challenger, and Del. David Yancey, R-Newport News, is mired in uncertainty. The balance of power in the House of Delegates is also at stake since a victory by Simonds would leave the chamber in a 50-50 tie between Democrats and Republicans.

“The Recount Court has ruled and its work is complete,” Yancey said in a court filing. “It is time for the election process for the Virginia General Assembly House of Delegates District 94 to continue as prescribed by law. Any further delay simply deprives the people of its representative in the House of Delegates.”

A three-judge panel in Newport News circuit court declared the race a tie on Dec. 20, one day after the local board of elections declared Simonds the winner by one vote.

On Tuesday, Dec. 26, lawyers for Simonds filed papers asking the court to reconsider its decisions about the race, saying they were “manifestly unjust,” and suspend its order certifying the vote.

Simonds’ filings came one day before the state Board of Elections was slated to determine  the winner of the race by drawing lots. The board later canceled its meeting, saying in a statement that deciding a race by drawing names should be a “last resort.”

Tuesday afternoon, Simonds said she stands by the result of the recount.

“It was a fair process guided by rules,” she said.

Ezra Reese, an attorney for Simonds, said Tuesday the court was wrong to have considered a challenge to the ballot which made the election a tie.

In court filings Friday, Yancey said the three-judge panel did its due diligence by examining the votes brought to its attention.

His papers also said Simonds has brought no new evidence to the court and the principle behind any election is the democratic ideal of “every vote counts.”

Attorneys for Simonds could not be reached immediately for comment Friday.

Steve Roberts contributed reporting.

This is a developing story. It has been updated to include that Simonds’ attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment.

Letter from Attorney Trevor M. Stanley to the Virginia State Board of Elections

Letter From T. Stanley to State Board of Elections.12.29.17 by Michael D Kane on Scribd

The Mememorandum of support in Simonds v. Yancey filed by David Yancey

Memorandum in Support of Objections filed by David Yancey by Michael D Kane on Scribd

David Yancey’s objection to a motion for reconsideration filed by Shelly Simonds

Objection to Motion to Reconsider by Michael D Kane on Scribd

David Yancey’s objection to a motion filed by Shelly Simonds calling for the court to suspends certifying the vote for Virginia’s 94th house district

Objection to Motion to Suspend Order to certify vote for Virginia's 94th house district by Michael D Kane on Scribd

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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