Luck of the draw: New city council member chosen by paper slip after vote count ends in tie

After months of campaigning, Election Day came and went, and when the votes were tallied for one small town in Michigan, it ended in a tie.

>> Read more trending news

The Michigan Election Law actually has a contingency for when votes end in a tie, the Cheboygan Daily Tribune reported.

Act 116 of 1954, Section 168.851 states:

“The board of canvassers for the county in which such election was held shall appoint a day for the appearance of all affected persons before the county clerk for the purpose of determining by lot among such persons the right to the office, and shall cause notice thereof to be given to all the persons interested. The county clerk shall prepare as many slips of paper as there are such persons, and write the word “elected” on as many slips of paper as there are offices to be filled, and the words “not elected” on the remaining slips, and fold the same so as to conceal the writing and so that they may appear as near alike as possible. The slips shall be placed in a box and, at the time and place appointed for the drawing of the lots, each of the persons aforesaid may draw 1 of the slips from the box, and any person drawing a slip on which is written the word “elected” shall be deemed legally elected to the office in question and the county clerk shall forthwith give him a certificate of election.”

That is exactly what they did in Rogers City.

Timeen Adair and Brittany VanderWall were tied for the second spot for the city council with 616 votes each after the Nov. 8 election.

Kenneth Bielas won the first seat with 870 votes, the Daily Tribune reported.

Slips of paper reading either “elected” or “not elected” were put in a plastic bowl.

First Adair and VanderWall had to decide who went first. That was determined by choosing a number between one and 15. Whoever was closest to the number selected by one of the officials pulled first, The Alpena News reported.

VanderWall was closer so she picked first, followed by Adair. The two unfolded their papers and it was Adair who selected “elected” and won the seat.

Comments on this article