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Every vote counts: Virginians react to House race decided by 1-vote

Posted at 10:08 PM, Dec 19, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. -- Among the holiday hustle and bustle of Carytown, Virginia voters react to what some might call a "Christmas Miracle" for Democrats in the Commonwealth.

"That's sort of amazing," voter Scott Williams said.

"That's pretty amazing," voter Ariel Furler said.

In a stunning turn of events, Democrat Shelly Simonds gained eleven votes in a recount to beat the Republican incumbent in the 94th District by just one vote.

The final tally: 11608 votes to 11607 votes.

Shelly Simonds and David Yancey

Democrats are now tied with Republicans in the House of Delegates, 50-50.

For the first time in 18 years, Republicans no longer hold a majority.

Related: One vote in Newport News recount brings 50/50 split to House

"Wow that's a compelling argument for anyone who doesn't think that one vote matters," voter Gina DiCicco said.

"In this kind of political environment we've been in, the crazy seems to happen every day," CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth said.

Holsworth said the change means it's possible that moderate legislators will shine in a new General Assembly with more parity.

He said the change means Medicaid expansion is now a real possibility in Virginia, as well as changes to the rule that mandates people lose their driver's license when they can't pay fines.

He also said legislation that would raise the bar for what is considered a felony also has a chance now.

"It's going to work to the benefit of the Democrats. Issues that the democrats have long waited and been stifled by Republicans may have more of an opportunity for passage than they did previously," Holsworth said.

A turn of events that Dr. Holsworth calls dramatic and at least one voter said proves that democracy works.

"My hero Harry Chapin said when in doubt do something that's something we can do, we still matter now, we can still do that act that makes a difference," voter David Underwood said.

House Republican leadership issued a statement Tuesday night saying, in part, that they are committed to governing and leading alongside their colleagues.

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