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Two Uncertified Races in Fredericksburg Could Throw House of Delegates Into Chaos

AP Photo / Alex Brandon

Control of the House of Delegates is still up in the air two weeks after the election, and election officials are now casting even more uncertainty on two key races.

The State Board of Elections is declining to certify two elections for the House of Delegates in Fredericksburg — throwing control of the House of Delegates into chaos. At issue are two precincts where at least 83 voters were listed in the wrong district. Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University wonders how this race could ever be resolved.

“We could have a situation where the 28th District race has to be rerun, where literally all of those votes get thrown out because there’s a certain number of them that are tainted. But you and I and nobody else knows which one of those votes are tainted.”

Meanwhile in Newport News, Democrats feel very good about picking up a Republican held seat in a recount. Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington says the Democrats might engineer a situation where they elect a speaker when they have a temporary majority because the uncertified seats in Fredericksburg.

“2017 has really been a rough year for Virginia Republicans. But if the Democrats take advantage of a momentary advantage to select a Democratic Speaker, it could be really Armageddon.”

Here’s another potential Armageddon: a 50-50 tie or a 49-49 tie. Which member of the House of Delegates could possibly emerge as a compromise candidate in such an overheated political environment?

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.
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