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N. Dakota Town Has Coin Flip Vote

June 22, 1998

ST. THOMAS, N.D. (AP) _ Call it in the air: Heads! Congratulations. You may now take your seat on the city council.

When the vote in rural northeastern North Dakota is too close to call and a recount fails to determine the winner, municipal elections are now decided by coin toss.

The law requires communities to conduct recounts in cases of tie votes, or in races decided by less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the total votes cast.

The law also says that if a recount doesn’t decide the issue, then it becomes a matter of heads or tails.

St. Thomas city officials will flip a coin Tuesday to see whether Eleanor Stuberg or Lark Oihus gets a four-year term on the city council. The recount left each with four votes.

In Clifford on Friday, Marilyn Anderson made the right call in the air to capture a four-year term on the Clifford City Council. In last week’s election, she and two other residents each received six votes. Friday’s recount failed to break the tie, so a coin flip was used.

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