Luck of the draw to determine Newport News House race

Workers continue to build bleachers and the reviewing stand as they prepare for the January inauguration of Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)(AP/Steve Helber)

WASHINGTON — Virginia’s State Board of Elections will draw film canisters next week to decide the winner in the 94th District House race in Newport News, the board chair said Thursday.

The winner will determine which party, if either, controls the House of Delegates. Republicans currently maintain a slim 51-49 majority.

James Alcorn tweeted that the random drawing of names will be held Wednesday. Each candidate’s name will be put in a small black film canister for the drawing.

A recount determined the race ended in a tie with 11,608 votes each for Democrat Shelly Simonds and incumbent Republican Del. David Yancey,

Simonds had initially declared victory at the end of the daylong recounting of ballots Tuesday. But the three-judge recount panel decided the next day to count one extra ballot for Yancey that had not been counted for either candidate — tying up the race.

WTOP’s Amanda Iacone contributed to this report.

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