After vote ends in tie, candidates to draw straws, basically

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A ranked choice ballot where numbers were crunched by a computer ended in a tie in a City Council race, so the contest will be decided with a low-tech solution — basically, drawing straws.

The election will be settled in public, in front of Portland City Hall, when lots — something such as random straws — are drawn on Thursday. Officials had not decided by Wednesday afternoon what would serve as the lots.

Portland is one of a handful of cities that uses ranked voting for local races. The method allows voters to prioritize candidates in races where there are more than two people running. If no one gets more than 50% of the total vote, second-choice votes come into play.

The Tuesday race for an at-large council seat resulted in a numeric tie between Roberto Rodriguez and Brandon Mazer, city officials said. The two candidates both had 8,529 votes after the votes were calculated in a four-way race, officials said.

The Portland charter says the city clerk must now determine the winner in public by drawing lots.

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