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County uses lottery to determine tie



If this is the best way to choose candidates, maybe we should do like former Sen. Zell Miller and go back to resolving differences with a duel in the street.

The Republican race for Blaine County sheriff after July 29 was so tight. How tight was it? It was so tight PoliGrip could make the winner a new spokesperson.

According to a story in The Oke, when all the votes were counted after the July primary, Tony Almaguer and Ricky Ainsworth were tied at 451 votes each. They were the only two candidates in the Republican race, so a runoff is not required. Ainsworth is the current Blaine County sheriff and Almaguer is a Watonga police officer.

"There's no hard feelings between the sheriff and me," Almaguer told The Oke. "We've worked together for 14 years. This (running for office) is just something I decided to do.

"Let the best man win, I guess."

So, how does Oklahoma state law settle such disputes? What else " a lottery. We know how much Oklahomans love to gamble.

In a highly scientific method, Blaine County Special Judge Paul Woodward stuck his hand into the hopper, fished around for the winning slip of paper, and drew a name out. And, behold! The people have spoken! Ainsworth and his golden ticket will now represent the Republican Party in November's general election.

"Fortunately we're not in Florida, so there will be no hanging chads," Blaine County Election Board Secretary Jane Crawford told The Oke.

Seriously, is this the best way to settle tie-breakers? There have to be better solutions like arm wrestling or a hot dog eating contest.

The state Legislature needs to take up this issue. The new law could mandate different types of tie-breakers depending on the race. For county sheriff, target shooting practice at a gun range. For governor, an online poll rating who has the better looking spouse. For the U.S. Senate, a survey of each of the candidate's album collection. If one of the candidates has any disco records, LOSER.

Hey, if the Legislature can sponsor an interim study on plastic surgery in ambulances, surely they can look into a candidate's ABBA collection.

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