Governments' Lighter Side

Call it a draw

It might not be the most technically sound or democratically correct way of resolving a tie in a local election, but the deadlocked Ward 4 alderman race in Waveland, Miss., was decided by drawing straws.

The Associated Press reports that on Dec. 3, Republican candidate Brett Ladner held a 108-106 lead over his Independent competitor, Charles Piazza. However verification of four affidavit ballots tied the race on the morning of Dec. 4. 

City Attorney Gary Yarborough told local newspaper, The Sun Herald, the practice of using a game of chance to break a tie is rooted in the city’s statutory language. Piazza drew the long straw, so he’s the winner.

Interestingly enough, Piazza told the paper, a similar game of chance cost him an election years ago. "You can't put a finger on it as to why," Piazza said. "This happened back to me back in 2002. I lost by a coin toss that year."

Waveland’s Board of Aldermen – including Piazza – was sworn in on Wednesday.


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What's Governments' Lighter Side?

It is an irreverent take on local and state government news.


Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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