What happens in Texas when there is a tie in a runoff vote?

June 13th, 2012

The two top-winners “cast lots.”

fter Diana Newland and Edward Lapeyre each won 111 votes in arunoff election Saturday and a recount confirmed the result yesterday, Texas election code forced the two to “cast lots.” A nearby pair of dice settled the matter: Newland rolled a five, whileLapeyre came up short with a four.

“It seemed odd, but after discussing it [with Lapeyre], we were just ready to get it over with,” Newland said, adding that her opponent was gracious about his misfortune. “I could not have gone out and campaigned a third time, and we had already gotten people to come out twice, bless their hearts.”

The decisive roll followed two failed attempts. Lapeyre’s first roll skipped off the table, and the city secretary had decreed beforehand that a do-over would be triggered by that outcome. When the second throws yielded a tie, Newland said she became “frayed around the edges.”

But the third roll ended a race that Newland said had the town of 10,000 abuzz with anticipation since Saturday’s inconclusive runoff.

Lapeyre did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.