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Removing 'Luck of the Draw' from Virginia's Elections

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AP Photo / Steve Helber
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Should elections be determined but the luck of the draw? That’s what happened last year, and one lawmaker wants to make sure it never happens again.

Dawnn Wallace is one of the 24,000 voters who cast a ballot in the election for House District 94. That was the one that was eventually determined a tie.

“When I learned that our representation was going to be picked by picking a name out of bowl I was flabbergasted, and I felt that my vote really didn’t count.”

Tied elections have been determined by lot since 1785. But the one that happened in 2017 should be the last, says Delegate Marcia Price, a Democrat from Newport News. She has a bill that would require a runoff.

“This special election would allow for the decision to lie not with luck and not with elected leaders. But with the people. And I just want to be absolutely clear this is not about the past election or the outcome of the past election. This is about much more.”

As for the cost of conducting a special election, Price says, that’s the price tag of democracy.

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