If you’ve ever thought to yourself “one vote can’t make a difference,” think again.
Democrat Shelly Simonds holds a single vote lead over Republican incumbent David Yancey.
When votes were tallied on Election Day this November, Yancey held a 10 vote lead over Simonds, initiating a recount in the Newport News District of Virginia.
As of Tuesday night, Simonds had 11,608 to Yancey’s 11,607. A three-judge panel will need to certify the results.
“This is part of a huge wave election in Virginia where voters came out in record numbers to force a change in Virginia, and I’m really proud to be part of that change and part of that wave election,” Simonds told the Post.
Republicans hold a 21-19 edge in the Virginia State Senate but such a slim majority in the statehouse overall could mean a more bipartisan agenda. Any tie in the statehouse would be broken by the Democratic lieutenant Governor. Legislation passed will need to be signed by newly elected Democratic governor Ralph Northam.
2017 was a good year for Democrats in Virginia. Northam won the gubernatorial election in Virginia in November. Democrat DanicaRoem became the first openly transgender person elected to any state legislator in the country. Chris Hurst, the former news anchor whose partner, reporter Alison Parker, was fatally shot on live TV two years ago picked up another Democratic seat in the House of Delegates. Elizabeth Guzmán became the first Latina to serve in the House.
Virginia has remained a contentious state in general elections. Obama won its electoral votes in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, but that Trump carried the state in 2016. With Republicans continuing to hold the majority at the federal level, state legislatures are extremely powerful force for Democrats when it comes preventing abortion restrictions, transphobic legislation and other conservative legislation that has passed in some Republican controlled states.
The Virginia recount highlights the importance of voting particularly in local elections in, where voter turnout is typically low. One vote can made a big difference.