11/09/05 — A hat could decide tied board races

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A hat could decide tied board races

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on November 9, 2005 1:48 PM

If a recount doesn't break a tie vote in a race for Mount Olive town commissioner, the winner's name likely will be chosen from a hat.

In the District 2 race Tuesday, Hosea Manley and Paul Smalley each received 84 votes, or 49 percent of the vote. Kenneth Talton received the remaining 2 percent.

No results are official until Nov. 15, when the county Board of Election holds a canvass of the results. The board is expected to meet Monday to go over results in preparation for the canvass at 2 p.m.

State law requires a recount if the difference between the votes for one candidate and the votes for the prevailing candidate is not more than 1 percent. If a winner is not determined by the recount, the law gives the county board of elections the authority to break the tie by a method of random selection.

Gary Sims, director of the county Board of Elections, said the state's preferred method of selection is to have the candidates choose the winning name out of a hat. Winners have also been decided by a coin flip or choosing the higher card in a deck.

Another tie occurred in the race for one of five seats on the Southeastern Wayne Sanitary District Board. Bobby Outlaw and Albert Williams Jr., each received 31 votes. That race would be treated the same as the one between Manley and Smalley.

Sims said over the next few days, the Board of Elections will research the provisional votes in every race. Any changes would be announced at a public meeting Tuesday at 11 a.m.