WEIRD NEWS
11/27/2012 03:59 pm ET

Coin Toss Decides Election In DeWitt County, Illinois; Winner Disapproves Of Gambling (VIDEO)

Democracy is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people. When that doesn't work, it's time for an old standard -- like a coin toss.

That was the method used to settle an election for a board seat in DeWitt County, Ill., after the vote counts showed a complete tie between candidates George Wissmiller and Terry Ferguson: 827 votes apiece, according to the Associated Press.

Ironically, Wissmiller doesn't approve of gambling and has made some concessions in order to make the chancy win palatable to him.

But hey, he won (and he chose heads).

“I don’t gamble. This process here today is very clearly gambling," Wissmiller told Pantragraph.com. "If I refuse to accept pay for this office, it ceases to be gambling. The office itself is a responsibility and not a thing of value.”

Ferguson, the incumbent, said he will consider seeking a recount.

The state of Illinois doesn't have rules set in place for election ties -- just a rule requiring a declared winner within 21 days of the election, so DeWitt County clerk Dana Smith got creative.

"Well, we just needed something to break a tie. We have to have a winner," she said, according to CentralIllinoisProud.com

At first, she suggested rolling some dice, but Wissmiller objected to that method of decision making.

Elections decided by coin tosses are unusual, but not uncommon. Back in May, a city council election in Woolfforth, Tex., was decided by coin toss after both candidates each received 118 votes. They chose to accept the coin toss result because a run-off election would have cost the city $10,000.

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