When Athenians came up with the idea of democracy 2,500 years ago, they figured the best way to be sure that the people, and not a tyrant, ruled was to pick their Council of 500 by lot — basically, the way the next member of the House of Delegates the 94th district could be selected. And the way control of the nation’s oldest legislature, the Virginia House of Delegates, will be decided. While Americans don’t normally chose officials this way, it’s not unknown when an election ends in a tie. As it did in six races — school boards, county commissioners and city councils — in Colorado this year. The winners in those cases were drawn by lot, as Colorado law dictates — pretty much echoing Virginia’s with pretty much the same lack of detail about the method.
“It’s not uncommon,” said Judd Choate, the state’s director of elections. “People have drawn cards out of a deck, names out of hat, rolled dice … pretty much any game of chance with 50-50 odds works, though I guess you might have to roll dice more than once” if both candidates roll sixes.
Drawing lots after an election is the way most states that set procedures for handling tie votes, which generally come up only in the smallest elections, settle things, said Rebecca Green, a College of William and Mary Law School professor who is co-director of the school’s Election Law Program.
Full Article: In an election, tie goes to … – Daily Press.