NAACP files suit over voter instructions in undecided race

Karina Smith holds her son Kyler Smith, 2, as she fills out her ballot at a polling place Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Alexandria, Va. Republican candidate for Virginia governor Ed Gillespie faces Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in Tuesday’s election. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A civil rights group has filed a lawsuit over voter instructions in a Virginia county where a crucial race remains undecided.

The Washington Post reported Monday that the NAACP's suit in Stafford County is trying to stop officials from declaring a winner in a House of Delegates race. The outcome could determine which party controls the chamber in Richmond.

The NAACP claims election officials gave "conflicting and misleading instructions" to voters.

At the heart of the lawsuit is the race to fill the House seat being vacated by retiring Speaker William J. Howell, a Republican.

The Republican candidate, Robert Thomas, is ahead of Democrat Joshua Cole by 86 votes.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of residents Terry Caldwell and Rachel Watsky. They were required to use provisional ballots.

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