The universal power of probability was the decider in two city council races Monday morning inside the Riley County Commission Chambers.
Rodger Graham and Russell Rohlman each received 72 votes in the Nov. 7 election for Ogden City Council, while two write-in candidates, Jay Caley and John King, each received two votes in Riley.
According to state statute, tie-breakers are decided by the County Board of Canvassers, or in this case, the commission. In past tied elections, the board has flipped a coin or drawn straws to determine the elected positions. County Clerk Rich Vargo recommended the board use the coin flip method.
Oddly enough, Rohlman told the commission before the coin flips his ballot included one of the tying votes for Graham, as city council ballots ask voters to choose multiple candidates.
“Do you have the official coin?” Commission Chairman Ron Wells asked Vargo.
“I’ve got a quarter,” he replied. “It’s about as official as it gets.”
Vargo said the four candidates were told of the time and place of the coin flip, but it was Rohlman and King who were in attendance.
Vargo asked Rohlman heads or tails. Rohlman called heads and fate agreed, with the coin showing heads on the floor after Vargo’s flip.
King was next and dared heads to show again.
“Heads,” Vargo announced after the flip.
“It pays to be present,” Vargo added.