Juvenile arrested in double fatal Petersburg shooting
Police arrest man accused of burning car, woman still missing

Virginia’s wild tiebreaker election draw with a bubbly twist

RICHMOND, Va. -- Wow! A jaw-dropping tie-breaker with a bubbly twist!

I think Thursday’s 50-50 chance drawing to determine the 94th House District Race in Newport News - and the balance of power in the state House - was pretty cool.

I like that we have more and more elections - big and small - that basically end in ties.

That means we are equally divided between the left and the right. Our state and national houses are looking more and more like it.

Each side has its strengths and weaknesses. One balances the other. It’s time they truly start working together.

And I think the custom-cast democracy bowl made for the drawing of the names was pretty sexy.

No doubt many conservatives like today’s draw because Republican incumbent David Yancey’s name was drawn.

Many liberals don’t care for it because Democrat challenger Shelly Simonds’ name wasn’t.

If the luck had broken the other way, no doubt the roles would be reversed.

What I don’t like about this whole thing is that stupid ballot - the one that made the race a tie.

The ballot-counting machine didn’t count it because the voter inked in the bubbles for both Yancey and Simonds.

Copy of the ballot in question

During the hand-recount after the super-close election the bubbly ballot was examined, discussed and rejected. Simonds looked like the winner by a vote.

But one of the recount workers had second thoughts and the ballot was later certified by a three-judge panel: Circuit Court judges Bryant Sugg of Newport News, Paul Cella of Powhatan, and David E. Johnson of Chesterfield. All were appointed by the General Assembly.

They decided the little slash over Simond’s filled in circle indicated the voter didn’t want to select her. (The voter had also filled in the bubble with an x on it by Ed Gillespie’s name for governor.)

Shelly Simonds and David Yancey

To me, that’s too much like reading tea leaves.

But hey, it’s water over the bowl now.

I’ll vote for more ties and more politicians being forced to work together.

But from here on out, dang it, if you fill in more than one bubble in a race, you should have only two choices:

Admit your mistake and ask for another ballot.

Or expect your vote not to count.