Elections could come down to coin toss, luck of the draw - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Elections could come down to coin toss, luck of the draw


MADISON (WKOW) -- There were quite a few close races in local elections on Tuesday night.  In fact, two Dane County races currently stand as ties.

In the race for Mazomanie Village President, Lowell Holcomb and Mike Krawczyk are tied at 201 votes apiece.  But there are still four outstanding absentee ballots.    

In the race for Town of Oregon Board Chairperson, incumbent Darryl Weber and challenger Chris Johnson both got 456 votes.

"When I saw the numbers last night I was stunned," said Johnson, who gave up her Town Supervisor seat to run for Chair.

"And for that many votes, I was more than surprised," said Weber.
But as Johnson and her husband picked up yard signs Wednesday morning, there was still one absentee ballot that had not yet been returned and could decide the race.

"If the ballot is postmarked by April 2nd, or before, and has all the correct documentation, signatures and what not, that ballot would be counted," said Denise Arnold, Town of Oregon Clerk.

The list of requested absentee ballots is a public record and it showed the only person who hadn't returned theirs, was a woman named Jennifer Spear.

"I don't really know who that is, or how that person voted," said Johnson.  "I don't know how that's going to come out."

Spear registered as a legal Town of Oregon resident in December, but lives near Vancouver, British Columbia where she works as an Associate Professor of History at Simon Fraser University.  She is currently on sabbatical in New Orleans and that's where the ballot was sent.

27 News reached Spear by phone Wednesday afternoon.  She says she put the ballot in the mail on Monday, but that it won't decide the race for Town Board Chair.  It turns out, she didn't vote in that race, because she didn't know anything about the candidates.

"It would be historical and kind of exciting I guess if it came down to a tie and came to coin toss or something like that," said Johnson.

That's exactly what it will come down to if Spear's ballot shows what she indicated to 27 News.

"They would either draw straws, flip a coin, high card, whichever technique they decide would be acceptable for both candidates," said Arnold.

"I guess I don't know, you know I'm not a big gambler, but, probably whatever is most appropriate," said Weber.

Denise Arnold still has to wait until Jennifer Spear's ballot comes back to verify it.

If it is indeed still a tie, it would go to the Town of Oregon Board of Canvassers, which would then orchestrate that coin toss or card drawing.  But by law they have to wait until 4:00 p.m. Friday to do that.

The Village of Mazomanie will also have to wait until after 4 p.m. Friday to open those four absentee ballots, even if they come in earlier.

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