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Deadlocked Vote Solved by Drawing

December 11, 2000

FIFE LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) _ Pieces of paper were pulled out of a box Monday to settle an election that ended with a dead heat. The Republican won.

The race for supervisor in this northern Michigan community ended with 297-297 tie between Democratic incumbent Dave Stremlow and GOP challenger Marianne Larson.

Monday’s tie-breaking drawing was the method dictated by state law. First Larson, then Stremlow reached into a box and pulled out a piece of paper. Larson had the winning one.

Stremlow initially thought he had squeaked to a 1-vote victory in the Nov. 7 race when the election night count produced a result of 297-296.

That was reversed by a recount that put Larson ahead by a single vote.

Then, one ballot rejected by a machine was re-examined and added to Stremlow’s column last week, setting up the tie.

Fife Lake Township is in the forested northwestern corner of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, about 15 miles southeast of Traverse City.

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