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Heads or tails to drink? Coin flip to settle Kentucky vote

November 7, 2018

BUCKHORN, Ky. (AP) — For at least the third time this year, a coin flip will be used to break a tied Kentucky vote.

A coin flip Thursday is expected to decide whether Perry County in Buckhorn Lake State Park is allowed to sell alcohol after a local referendum ended in a tie. The park and 1,200-acre lake is nestled in a dry precinct about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the Virginia border.

The Tuesday vote was 155-155. State law allows tie votes to be settled with a coin flip.

Rosa Pollard, Perry’s deputy county clerk, says a board of election member will flip the coin on Thursday. Pollard, who has worked in the officer for 24 years, says it’s the first tie vote she can remember.

“I’ve never seen a tie,” she said.

Voters actually had two referendum questions on the ballot. The first one was a yes or no vote on whether the entire precinct should allow alcohol sales. That vote failed 199-114, Pollard said.

Coin flips settled two races Kentucky earlier this year.

In Martin County in a May primary, Margaret Sprague beat Hubert Spence for constable on a coin toss. They tied with 331 votes each. And in June, a coin toss decided a 127-vote tie in a magistrate race between Democrats Boyce Coles and Barry Perkins in Logan County. Coles won the flip.

The wet-dry vote might’ve been the closest race in Kentucky on election night, but a state House race with much higher stakes was too close to call Wednesday as Daviess County Democrat Jim Glenn led Republican D.J. Johnson by just one vote out of the 12,637 cast.

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