The ballot in the race for Virginia House of Delegates 94th District in Newport News, Va. (N/A/City of Newport News, Virginia)

The Dec. 27 Metro article "Drawing in Virginia House race postponed" described a disputed ballot in a Virginia House of Delegates race as having "a mark for [Shelly] Simonds as well as a mark for [David] Yancey, and an extra mark by Simonds's name that the court ruled was an effort to strike out the mark in her favor."

The ballot in question also has extra marks through the bubble for Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie, and because the court also agreed that the unknown voter had selected every other Republican on the ballot in which the party was designated, those extra marks did not disqualify the vote for Mr. Gillespie. Does the burden for proving a voter's intent rest on the party that wishes to count the previously discarded ballot? If so, how can it explain why extra marks count in favor of one of its candidates but not in favor of one of the opposite party's?

In this case, a picture may well be worth control of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Janine D. Harris, Alexandria