According to Democrat Shelly Simonds (HD-94), speaking on Hardball last night, the crazy ballot with inconsistent marks all over the place was a “classic example of an overvote” and “should not be counted.” And certainly, as Simonds points out (100% correctly, IMHO), the ballot shouldn’t have been counted after the recount procedure (correctly) threw it out. According to Simonds, “the integrity of the entire recount system is at stake, because what we’re going to end up with is this downward spiral of challenging every ballot up to judges, and…the citizens in a recount should be the ones deciding on these ballots in the recount process, not just giving everything over to the judges to decide.” Ultimately, Simonds says, she “would have been fine with the random drawing if it had really been a tie, but I won the recount fair and square, and I played by the rules – the rules in Virginia for recounts are very clear – but my opponent [Republican David Yancey] made an end run around those rules.” Yep, that’s pretty much the situation at this point, pending some word from the three-GOP-judge panel.
UPDATE: Also see Simonds on CNN, in which she says that the judges could refer the ballot to the State Board of Elections for guidance, or they can change their opinion and rule that this ballot should NOT count. Simonds says, “clearly my opponent’s team did not play by the rules of the recount; we actually had a court order that said any ballot that was to be contested had to be marked on the recount day on Tuesday, so they did not follow the rules of the recount.”
UPDATE #2: Just got this press release from the VA House Dems…
Shelly Simonds Calls Out Yancey for Breaking Recount Rules on CNN & Hardball
Delegate-elect Shelly Simonds has taken to CNN & MSNBC to call out her opponent, Delegate David Yancey, for breaking recount rules after she was declared the winner, fair and square, by both Democratic and Republican recount observers.
Last night on Hardball, Simonds told Steve Kornacki, “I won the recount fair and square, and I played by the rules. The rules in Virginia for recounts are very clear, but my opponent made an end run around those rules.”
Back in Newport News, grassroots activists rallied yesterday to preserve the integrity of the recount process. Be sure to check out these clips from WAVY, WTKR and the Virginian-Pilot on the rally.