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In case of a tie vote in Florida, the winner will be decided by drawing lots

In New Mexico an election tie can be resolved with a hand of poker, if a judge approves it  

In this story:

How to break the tie?

The New Mexico solution

RELATED STORIES, SITES



WASHINGTON (CNN) -- When all the legal wrangling in Florida is over and all the ballots are counted, what if Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush receive the same number of votes for president?

How to break the tie?

A Florida law offers a decidedly low-tech way out of the dilemma: The winner is determined by drawing lots, or objects of varying sizes.

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Florida law: Determination of person elected

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In the case of a tie, which method would you support to select the president?

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Statute 100.181 says in part: "In case two or more persons receive an equal and highest number of votes for the same office, such persons shall draw lots to determine who shall be elected to the office."

"In terms of all the bizarre twists, I would call this the most bizarre," said Johnny Burris, who teaches election law and the Florida Constitution at Nova Southeastern University's law school.

He said some local elections have been decided by drawing lots under the statute, passed in 1941, but never a statewide election and certainly not a presidential election in Florida.

Notice that the law "doesn't specify how they draw the lots," Burris said. "It could be balls in a hat, you could draw straws."

The New Mexico solution

In New Mexico, where the presidential race was also close, the state constitution calls for a game of chance to resolve a tie.

And one game of chance is not favored over another, though a judge would have to decide what type of game the candidates would have to play.

"Drawing straws. Flipping a coin. Drawing a hand of cards. It doesn't, necessarily, have to be poker. A dice roll. All of those possibilities would probably fit within what our constitution calls a game of chance," said John Dendahl, chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party.

CNN Correspondent Greg Lamotte and CNN.com Correspondent Raju Chebium contributed to this report



RELATED STORIES:
Judge rules Florida Secretary of State did not abuse her discretion in denying recount
November 16, 2000
Florida Supreme Court asked to wade into presidential contest
November 15, 2000
Vote recount must continue past deadline, Gore camp says
November 14, 2000
With Florida court action reaching critical mass, a compromise may be in works
November 14, 2000
Judge grants injunction to freeze Palm Beach vote certification
November 10, 2000
Florida law provides variety of cures for problem elections
November 9, 2000
Reno says Justice Department keeping an eye on Florida election November 9, 2000
Justice Department discusses Florida election
November 8, 2000
Election Day allegations could form basis for legal challenges, experts say
November 8, 2000
Electoral win not a guarantee, no matter what happens in Florida
November 8, 2000

RELATED SITES:
Florida State Courts
Opinions of the Supreme Court of Florida - Provided by the University of Florida Levin College of Law
Florida Attorney General Web site
Florida law: Electors and elections
Florida law: Conducting elections and ascertaining the results


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