When officials in Monroe, N.C., finished tallying the votes Friday from this month’s election for mayor, they displayed the results on a monitor. Robert Burns had received 970 votes — but so had Bob Yanacsek, one of his opponents.
An elections official grabbed a silver dollar from his office to break the tie. When he returned to a conference room in the county board of elections’ building, Yanacsek called heads.
The coin struck a desk before dropping to the carpet and rolling a few feet on its side across the room. When it stopped next to a spectator’s coffee cup a few seconds later, the coin landed on tails.
Burns lifted his arms and grinned as his family and friends cheered. The 40-year-old will be Monroe’s mayor for the next two years.
“It felt like the longest roll ever,” Burns told The Washington Post on Monday after a weekend of celebrating.
Yanacsek, meanwhile, watched Burns hug his supporters before the two candidates shook hands.
“We didn’t lose the election,” Yanacsek, 53, said Monday. “We lost the coin toss.”
It’s not the first time an election has been decided by the flip of a coin. Coin tosses have also broken ties in Idaho and Kentucky. Other election officials have resorted to rolling dice or pulling a name out of a film canister to declare a victory.
In North Carolina, Kristin Jacumin said that Friday was the first tie she witnessed since she became the director of the Union County Board of Elections in 2015. She considered drawing a name out of a hat or pulling straws but said a coin flip was the most transparent method.
“It was quite a surprise to us,” Jacumin said about resorting to a tiebreaker.
Burns said he had considered running for office for years, but he was busy working at his audio-video company and raising six children.
“I was always told growing up I was going to be one of three things: I was going to be a preacher, a lawyer or a politician,” Burns said. “And they’re all one and the same nowadays.”
He decided in June to run for mayor, hoping to improve the economy, lower taxes and unite a city divided by political disputes.
Yanacsek, a retired police officer, was the runner-up in Monroe’s 2021 mayoral election after falling short by 504 votes. He ran again in hopes of lowering crime, improving animal welfare and giving citizens more power by placing them on city committees.
Yanacsek was ahead of Burns by one vote after Election Day on Nov. 7, but officials were still counting mail-in and provisional ballots that were postmarked by that date. Candidates were told the final count would be completed by Friday.
When Burns asked in the following weeks how a tie would be broken, he said he thought a county official was joking when they explained that it would be decided by random selection — a state law that goes into effect when 5,000 or fewer ballots are cast. In Monroe, which has a population of about 35,000, just 3,551 people voted, Jacumin said.
On Friday, Burns and Yanacsek arrived at the board of elections office with family members, friends and supporters. They waited in a conference room while officials finished counting the ballots. About 30 minutes later, officials displayed the results on a TV screen — a tie.
Spectators gasped, Burns said. He and Yanacsek looked at each other, shook their heads and laughed.
“You could cut the tension with a knife,” Burns said.
Both candidates waived their rights to a recount, telling The Post they believed county officials had recorded the ballots correctly. Burns said he asked Yanacsek to call heads or tails, as he had been leading the votes before Friday. Yanacsek said he picked heads on a whim, but he could only shrug after he saw the coin land on tails.
“The sad part is we have all the supporters that back me,” Yanacsek said. “And we were looking to really make some good changes and things. And I felt sorry for them more than for me because it basically came down to me calling heads or tails.”
After winning the coin toss, Burns said he interviewed with a local TV station, ate lunch with his supporters and met with the city’s current mayor, Marion Holloway, who didn’t seek reelection.
Yanacsek, who plans to run for mayor again in the future, thanked his followers in a Facebook video Friday afternoon. He said he’ll continue attending city council meetings to voice his thoughts.
Burns, meanwhile, has started making plans for when he’s inaugurated Dec. 12.
“A lot of [politicians] tend to, or at least seem to, forget what the actual concerns are of the citizens,” Burns said. “And that’s what’s important. That’s what gets you elected.”
In North Carolina, a coin flip can help do that, too.
Source: Washington Post
House could have articles of impeachment against Biden ready in first half of 2024
‘Supernatural’ actor Mark Sheppard brought back to life after suffering 6 heart attacks
New Rochelle remembers beloved actress Frances Sternhagen, who lived there for more than 60 years before death at 93
Tesla Cybertruck’s Race Against A Porsche 911 Was Apparently An 1/8-Mile Run
World’s first commercial-scale waste-to-hydrogen plant in Sharjah
37 Cyber Monday Treadmill Deals to Shop Right Now 2023
5 Best Blue-Chip Stocks For 2024
36 Cyber Monday Treadmill Deals to Shop Right Now 2023
44 Best Cyber Monday Mattress Deals You Can Shop in 2023
Mama Minj’s Meaty Loaf Recipe Will Be Your New Winter Staple
Swiss Banque Pictet Admits Conspiring With Americans To Hide Funds
US tourist from Boston killed in shark attack in Bahamas, police say
The Beatles Song Paul McCartney Called ‘the Smash of This Century’
A gift for Globe Santa, from Ukraine
‘The Voice’: John Legend Might Have ‘a Rivalry With Gwen’ Stefani Due to Her ‘Ridiculous’ Outfits, Celebrity Stylist Says
News21 hours ago
Look: Sheikh Mohamed, Kamala Harris discuss bilateral relations,regional developments at COP28
Lifestyle21 hours ago
Meet the Magic Facial Serum on Amazon I Can’t Live Without
Finance21 hours ago
Charlie Munger’s Most Important Investing Lesson
News21 hours ago
REVEALED: Omid Scobie’s UK agent ‘DID send draft manuscript naming two ‘royal racists’ to be translated into Dutch’, exposing under-fire author’s weasel words that he had ‘never submitted a book that had those names in it’ – as Palace mulls legal action
Sport20 hours ago
Bash the bookies with three big prices at Plumpton and Wolverhampton on Monday
Lifestyle22 hours ago
Wordle In Real Life: The Daily Word-Guessing Puzzle Is Now a $12 Board Game
News23 hours ago
Dubai: Can full-time employees invest in and operate a business?
News21 hours ago
This Gen Z Favorite Is Oxford’s Word of the Year