A tiebreaking game of chance will determine who assumes office on the Fairfield Town Council after an automatic recount found a tie between the two candidates.
The winner of the election between Steven Walk and Dave Watling to serve the town of about 600 residents will be decided Monday afternoon in the Spokane County Elections Office, said Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton. An automatic hand recount showed both candidates with exactly 78 votes apiece in the Nov. 5 election.
As has become customary in Spokane County, election ties are decided with two balls, each marked with a number assigned to one of the two candidates, that are placed inside a small milk bottle. The bottle is shaken, and whichever candidate’s ball comes out first is the winner.
It will mark the first use of this method of picking a winner since 2013, when a 41-41 tie between Melanie Meagher and Patricia Neumann for Latah Town Council was broken by the chance game. Neumann won that contest.
Both candidates are seeking their first election to public office in the town, which is about 30 miles southwest of Spokane on the Palouse. Walk led by 12 votes on election night, good enough for 62.5% of the ballots counted at the time. Jamie Paden won the other Town Council race on the ballot, defeating Mark Matherly to defend her seat on the panel.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.