The mayor's race in Bradenton Beach, Fla., was decided Wednesday by a high-card draw. Democracy and the rule of law in America are truly alive and well.
A manual recount showed that incumbent Jack Clarke was tied 125-125 with William Shearon, Clarke's immediate predecessor; Shearon had been recalled earlier this year.
In a message posted on Facebook, the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections said that Florida statutes provide for "lots" drawing in cases of tied elections, and that the Bradenton Beach canvasing board "decided on this method of deciding should the re-count come out to the same number of ballots."
Shearon drew an ace of clubs, while Clarke drew a 10 of clubs. Here's the video:
Before opening a fresh deck of cards and shuffling them, county Supervisor of Elections Michael Bennett laid out the rules to both men as others looked on from the other side of a wall cut-out. Clarke cut the cards first, and then Bennett reshuffled the cards before Shearon took his turn.
It was the first time in at least 20 years lots were used to decide an election in Manatee County, the paper writes. Last year, a tied city council race in Mount Dora, Fla., was decided by drawing names out of a hat. Several other states have lots by-laws to decide knotted elections.
"First of all, it's significant in Manatee County for people to understand—if nothing else, everybody should understand how important their vote is," elections supervisor Michael Bennett told the Bradenton Herald. "Too many times, people say, 'Well, my vote doesn't matter.' We proved their vote mattered. They did it for themselves."
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.