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City council election decided by coin toss

5:30 PM, Dec 9, 2011   |    comments
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By Tim Gordon

Woodland, WA (KGW/NBC) - Woodland, Washington's deadlocked city council election was decided by a coin toss Wednesday.

Candidates Scott Perry and Robert Ripp each received 569 votes.

Then, there was a recount that came up with the same final tally.

"The recount put us tied, and I thought sure as heck they'd find another vote after 15 days. But they didn't so we're both in it for the long haul I think," said Ripp.

Cowlitz County elections officials reviewed the state law, which explained that they could use a coin toss, to pick the winner.

So Perry and Ripp smiled and waited as a coin was tossed in front of an auditorium full of students at Woodland High School.

And the winner was: Scott Perry.

On an interesting side-note, a special coin from the state auditor's office had to be used for the official coin toss.

It had a "1" on one side and a "2" on the other side. To ensure fairness, the candidate listed first on the ballot got the 1 and the other candidate got the 2.

Perry had the 2.

School officials told students at the assembly it was important for them to see how critical it is to vote, once they're old enough.

They explained that this important race would have never come down to a coin toss if just one more person had voted.

"I'm not 18 yet but next election I'll be there and be that one vote that counts," said 17-year-old Brenda Avelar as she left the assembly with a voter registration form in her hand.

KGW/NBC

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