Excellent HD-94 (Democrat Shelly Simonds vs. Republican David Yancey) and HD-28 (Democrat Joshua Cole vs. Republican Bob Thomas) talking points, courtesy of Women’s March 2017 Northern Virginia coordinator and Virginia Democratic activist Stair Calhoun:
● Delegate-elect Shelly Simonds was the rightful winner in HD-94, having won by one vote.
● Both a Democrat and a Republican reviewed every ballot in question, and both the Democratic and the Republican observers signed a statement affirming to the elections board that the election result was accurate. Republican leadership put out a press release conceding to Shelly Simonds.
● The process worked the way it was supposed to work, with Republican observer Stephen Klute telling the Washington Post, “the process appeared good,” He said he accepted the outcome. “Got to,” Klute said. “It’s the American way. The system works. So be it.”
● Because there were no challenged ballots (ballots on which Democrats and Republicans disagreed) the court hearing was supposed to be a formality.
● Not liking the result, Delegate David Yancey pulled a stunt that broke recount rules and tried to relitigate a ballot outside the recount process. If the ruling is allowed to stand, the recount process will be broken for all future elections. The integrity of the recount process is at stake.
● If asked whether ballot should have counted, stress that the court never should have reviewed the ballot after the fact in the first place, but that it definitely was an overvote. Furthermore, there were other ballots that required interpretation that we could go back and re-litigate, but we were not afforded that opportunity in court and besides, that’s not how the process works.
HD-28 Talking Points (Rev. Joshua Cole v. Bob Thomas)
· The Virginia Department of Elections issued a report stating that 147 people received ballots for the wrong House District in the HD-28 race.
– 61 people from HD-28 were given ballots for HD-88
– 61 people from HD-88 were given ballots for HD-28
– 25 people from HD-28 were given ballots for HD-2
[Please note we have no evidence that this was anything other than a mistake. Also note that HD-28 was the only district affected where the margin was small enough that it would have mattered].
· The margin in this race, after a recount, is only 73 votes, less than half the number of voters who were disenfranchised in this race.
· Both the Washington Post and the Daily Press editorial boards have called for new elections, with the Washington Post calling this election “Irreparably tainted”
· Disenfranchised Voters have brought forth a federal lawsuit asking for a new election. There will be hearing in that case on Jan. 5 in Alexandria.
· Joshua Cole will not seek a contested election in the House of Delegates because 100 people should not decide who is to represent the people of the 28th District. Joshua’s whole campaign has been about fighting for the people.
· The integrity of Virginia elections is at stake in both of these two races, which will determine control of the House of Delegates and whether 400,000 people can get access to affordable health care.