Push to change method of breaking ties in Va. elections

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Earlier this month, the State Board of Elections randomly pulled a name out of a bowl to break a tie in the 94th House District.

The process of determining elections “by lot” dates back to the 1700s.

On Wednesday, a lawmaker from the neighboring 95th District called for that process to be changed.

Del. Marcia Price (D-Newport News) rolled out a bill that would require a new election when a recount results in a tie, like it did in HD94.

She believes this method would give the power back to the voters instead of leaving it up to chance.

“We were drafting the bill prior to finding out the winner because no matter who the winner was, the process just felt icky,” said Price.

She said she heard from several constituents who questioned the current process.

“The folks that approached me, they were older, they were younger, they were white, black, and they were Republicans and Democrats,” said Price. “One guy came up to me and said, ‘I know we don’t agree on much, but tell me you agree this just isn’t right.’ And I did.”

Price said some people have taken issue with the cost that a runoff election would incur.

“On the flip side, the actual cost is the price tag of democracy,” she said. “If taxpayers are going to have to pay for the process either way, no matter how it’s being determined, why not give the power back to them?”

A subcommittee of the House Privileges and Elections Committee is scheduled to hear Price’s bill Thursday morning.Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.

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