Thursday, July 02, 2009

Winning by Losing

In Arizona, a young man recently won an election for a Town Council seat in a small city when he drew a king to beat his opponent’s six. The candidates cut the cards after they tied in the balloting with 660 votes each. The news story said using a gambling method to resolve an electoral tie was relatively rare, but did happen in Arizona from time to time.

It happened in Wisconsin at least one time, but with a different twist, according to family lore. Apathy reached such a height (or depth) in my hometown about 60 years ago that no one could be persuaded to run for one of the vacant alderman positions. Two undercover campaigns apparently were launched without the knowledge of the candidates. When election results were tabulated, my father and the other noncandidate had identical write-in vote totals for the seat on the City Council.

Dad and the other man cut the cards to resolve the issue. Dad drew the high card. The drawer of the losing card won the honor of serving as a City of Tomahawk alderman.

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