June 24, 2009

Dice, marbles choose new councilman

The City Council of a small South Dakota town resolved a tied 126-126 election as dictated by state law -- with a game of chance.

David Baker won the Spearfish City Council seat formerly occupied by Councilwoman Shawn Davis during a special meeting Tuesday night by rolling the highest number with a die -- winning him the right to choose whether to be the first to pull a marble from a hat -- and pulling the white marble, CNN reported Wednesday.

I opted that I would grab the marble, Baker said. I figured I had a 50-50 chance of winning.

Officials in the town, which boasts a population of less than 10,000 people, said it has no ordinances for ties or runoff elections, so the game of chance was played between the two candidates as called for by state law.

Baker previously went through months of legal wrangling to certify the tie with Davis after she challenged one of the ballots cast in his name.