In Virginia, this is what democracy looks like.
In Virginia, this is what democracy looks like. WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES

In this, the self-appointed GREATEST DEMOCRACY ON EARTH, the closely watched race for the Virginia House of Delegates' 94th District was decided Thursday morning by pulling a fucking name out of a fucking BOWL. Or, to be more precise, a piece of blue and green stoneware borrowed from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts that apparently symbolizes “the sky on the outside and the earth on the inside.” The bowl looks like it would be great for salads. As for for choosing state representatives, however, the bowl—or the hand reaching into it—sucks at its job, because it spit out Republican David Yancey instead of Democrat Shelly Simonds. You had one job, bowl. One job.

The reason for this asinine little drama, which is actually legal in Virginia, is that the race between Yancey and Simonds was incredibly close. On Election Day, the Republican was in the lead by a mere 10 votes, but after a recount on December 19, Simonds was up by one. Yancey actually conceded at that point, but then, a three-judge recount court decided that a single disputed ballot should have been awarded to Yancey, putting the two candidates at an even tie. Thus, the bowl. You can watch the whole ludicrous process here, but you might want to take your blood pressure medication first.

Yancey, the incumbent and now future representative of the 94th District, is no Roy Moore, but he's still pretty damn conservative. He recieved a paltry 34 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia for the 2016-'17 legislative session, when he declined to vote on two important reproductive rights bills. Plus, the "family values" crowd loves him: the Family Foundation PAC—which pushes anti-choice, straight marriage, Christian supremacy, and "parental authority" legislation—gave him a 94 percent rating; and the Sierra Club gave him a big ol' D for voting to obstruct the Clean Power Plan and supporting the coal industry. And now he'll be returning to the Virginia House, thanks to a goddamn stoneware BOWL, where the Republicans maintain the majority by one seat. Remember this the next time you're tempted not to vote.