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Election Law

Coin toss decides judicial race that ended in a tie

Posted Jul 17, 2014 8:31 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Two Democrats running in a New Mexico primary for a magistrate judgeship each received exactly 2,879 votes.

A coin flip last Thursday decided the election following the tie vote between Kenneth Howard Jr. and Robert Baca, report UPI, the Washington Post and the Albuquerque Journal. Baca, the incumbent, lost. According to the Associated Press, Baca initially had a seven-vote lead in the three-way June 3 primary in McKinley County, triggering an automatic recount.

Howard will get the judgeship because he has no Republican opponent.

According to a Washington Post analysis, 35 states decide tied elections with a coin toss or some other means of chance.

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