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Minnesota City Council Race Decided on a Coin Toss

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

The flip of a coin is used to decide a lot of things in life: Who gets the ball first in a football game, where to eat lunch, or even who gets the last candy bar. Elections don’t fall into that list, except in this case.

The Star Tribune reports a city council race in Albertville, Minnesota remained undecided until yesterday after breaking what was a virtual tie in the voting results. In the initial count of the ballots, City Council candidate Mark Barthel won the election by one vote. In a recount, competitor Larry Sorensen won by one vote. As the legal drama in the race played out, Barthel contested a partially filled out bubble cast for Sorensen. Both sides have gone back and forth until Monday, when a decision was finally made.

To decide the winner of the race, a gold dollar coin was used at a city meeting on Monday night. Each candidate was assigned a side, and a member of the existing city council flipped the coin. Sorensen won the coin flip, and was declared the winner of the election.

Sorenson provided reaction to the press on Tuesday, saying:

When you campaign, you say every vote counts, but I didn’t think it would come down to one vote.


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