Baltic Mayoral Election Decided by Playing Cards
As we have learned from recent history, when there is a contested election lots of crazy things can happen. In a small South Dakota town, an election was decided by the draw of a card.
According to Dakota News Now, the small city of Baltic held an election for mayor on June 8th that ended in a tie. Both candidates, Deborah McIsaac and Tracy Petersen received 117 votes. Not a great turnout for a town of just over 1,100 people, but that's who showed up.
On Friday a recount was held to verify the vote totals and it was correct, confirmed to be a tie. With the recount confirmed, the outcome of the election was then decided on a game of chance. Not because it's what the candidates wanted, but because that is what state law in South Dakota demands.
South Dakota Codified Law 9-13-27.2 states:
If a tie vote exists after a canvass of original official returns, the governing body making the canvass shall certify the vote to the finance officer. The finance officer shall then notify the candidates that if no request for recount is made in writing to the finance officer within five days after the certification, the winner shall be determined by drawing of lots. If no recount request is made or a tie vote between candidates is found to exist on the basis of the recount, the finance officer shall fix a time and place for the drawing of lots, giving reasonable notice of the time and place to each of the tied candidates. The drawing of lots shall be in the manner directed by the finance officer and the certificate of election shall be issued to the candidate winning in the drawing.
So challenger McIsaac drew the first playing card and pulled a king. Not thinking she had a chance with the high card already that high, the incumbent Petersen drew and got the only card that could win, an ace. So Petersen will continue as mayor of Baltic.
She will probably not hit on a PowerBall drawing now after cashing in that lucky chip.