An earlier drawing was canceled when the Democratic candidate, Shelly Simonds, asked a recount court overseeing the race to reconsider an ambiguous ballot for her opponent, David Yancey, a Republican. The court had already decided to count the ballot in question for Mr. Yancey on Dec. 20, deadlocking the race at 11,608 votes apiece. A day earlier, Ms. Simonds, a Newport News school board member, had been one vote ahead after the hand inspection of ballots in the first recount.
On Wednesday, the three-judge recount court rejected Ms. Simonds’s motions filed last week to intervene. So the drawing is on, a spectacle whose rarity is compounded by the fact that it is not just one seat at stake, but the balance of power in the state’s lower chamber, which calls itself the oldest elected legislative body in the United States.