Election officials in Wisconsin Rapids have completed their recount in the city’s District 2 Alder race, and the results remain unchanged.
City Clerk Jennifer Gossick says after recounting all ballots, auditing the poll book, and double-checking absentee ballots the results remained 213 votes for incumbent Vernon Verjinski, and 213 votes for challenger Dean Veneman.
Gossick says the canvassers did opt to include three ballots that arrived at City Hall on April 8th, even though one had an illegible postmark. “We really didn’t see how there was a ballot that was postmarked on the 8th, that would get to us on the 8th. So we accepted those three ballots.”
As for how the tie was broken, Gossick says canvassers decided to go with the flip of a coin. Since neither candidate was present for the initial count on Monday, April 13th canvassers decided that one of them would serve as a proxy for Veneman, since his name was first on the ballot.
“He chose heads, I tossed the coin, and the coin came up heads,” Gossick adds that the coin was a US quarter.
In Wisconsin, election ties can be broken by any means that canvassers see fit after they have verified that two candidates have finished with the same number of votes. Gossick says that could include a roll of the dice, the drawing of straws, or even a game of rock, paper, scissors. “Any way that the board of canvassers feels that would be a legitimate way to break the tie.”
“We had a coin, so we decided to use a US quarter,” she added.
Gossick confirmed both Veneman and Verjinski were in attendance for Monday’s recount, which was completed in about five hours. Veneman will officially begin his term on the council this week.