Home 2017 Races Video: On “Hardball,” Shelly Simonds Argues She Won HD-94 “Fair and Square”...

Video: On “Hardball,” Shelly Simonds Argues She Won HD-94 “Fair and Square” While Opponent Made “End Run Around [the] Rules”


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.

This morning, Simonds told CNN’s Bill Weir, “Any vote that is going to be challenged has to be challenged during the recount, the citizen-led process that includes Democrats and Republicans, and they all signed off on the votes. You can’t say, ‘well..we lost the next day, and I’m so sad about it. Here, let’s pull this ballot out of the ballot box and re-assess it.'”

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 WAVYWTKR and the Virginian-Pilot on the rally.

  • Video: Shelly Simonds Interview with Bill Weir


  • Andy Schmookler

    An observation and a question:

    Sympnds criticizes her opponent, and probably wisely doesn’t complain about the judges. But of course it’s the judges job to enforce the rules.

    As she is implicitly asking the judges to admit they did wrong, the question arises: is there any appeal beyond that judges’ panel?

    • Jona

      I believe there is.

  • Nicodemus Boffin

    I hope Simonds wins. ( & I hope the Democrats seat 50 delegates.) And Simonds is correct that the process and procedures for counting the votes were played a little loosely by her opponent. Nonetheless, I think that we should always try to count as many votes as we can. Her opponent should have certainly asked earlier to have the ballot in question examined/considered/counted- but to my untrained and inexpert eye, I think, despite some real ambiguity with the marks on the ballot, the judges made the right call: the voter meant to strike out Simonds’ oval with a slash and meant vote for Yancey.

    • Jona

      Other marks on that ballot cast doubt on the voter’s intentions and actually indicate a vote for Simonds. Also, the ballot shouldn’t have even been considered once the recount was over, according to the BoE rules.

  • Jona

    The lead recount judge on the panel was promoted by the Republican candidate. That of course is a conflict of interest, and the judge should recuse himself. Simonds is right that this sketchy ballot seems like a trick by the Republicans. https://t.co/6PNKzw3SVQ