Hearne: JOCO Voters Leave Choice to Chance

_45435117_toss_getty416What a way to go…

Think of it as death by lottery – a coin flip, actually. After centuries spent fine tuning the so-called American Way, it seems a little trite that after thousands – maybe even tens of thousands – of dollars are spent, months of political campaigning and gosh knows how much behind-the-scenes power schmoozing and intimidation, it all comes down to a coin flip.

Anyhoo, that’s the way the game is played in Johnson County.

  1. ChanceThat according to JOCO election commissioner Brian Newby.

Kansas Statute 25-3108 reads:

“In any election for which the county board of canvassers makes the final canvass, if any two or more persons have a tie vote, such board shall determine by lot which person is nominated or elected, as the case may be.”

If you’re wondering what a “lot” is, think “lottery.” Or more to the point, “one of a set of objects, as straws or pebbles, drawn or thrown from a container to decide a question or choice by chance.”

I dunno, sounds more like drawing straws or rolling the dice to me, but to the Johnson County Election Commission it translates into a heart stopping, breath robbing flip of a coin.

deer-hunter-rouletteThe luck of the draw.

And that’s how Merriam councilman wannabe Jim Wymer put the hurt on his rival John Crabtree a couple weeks back.

“We have coin tosses all the time,” Newby says. “But that was the largest race we’ve ever had a coin toss on.”

Which returns us to the interpretation of the word “lots.”

“Each county has what’s called a board of county canvessors and they have their own policies,” Newby explains. “And there’s 105 counties in Kansas and I don’t know how they all interpret that statute that says in the case of a tie it has to be decided by lots.”

So in the end, who really knows?

Russian Roulette, scratch and win cards, you-name-it.

May the best (luckiest?) man win!



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One Response to Hearne: JOCO Voters Leave Choice to Chance

  1. Super Dave says:

    Well the coin toss sounds more civil than say a cage match and the one who walks out is the winner.

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