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Tails Never Fails: Coin Toss Decides Idaho Mayor’s Race

Heads or tails?

That was the question posed Thursday night to Don Bowden, the mayor of the Idaho town of Albion with a population of less than 300. The stakes? His job.

After he tied with challenger John Davis in the Nov. 5 election at 60 votes apiece, a coin flip was called to determine the winner. Bowden correctly picked tails, allowing him to stay in office for another term.

Boise State Public Radio has more:

The coin toss wasn't a last-minute solution. Idaho law says municipal elections that end in a tie vote are decided by the flip of a coin. What the law doesn't detail are specifics on how to do the toss. It doesn't describe whether the coin must be caught, or what kind of coin must be used. As we reported Thursday, Albion's lawyer had to figure out who got to call heads or tails.

City clerk Mary Yeaman administered the mayoral toss, which she admits seemed like a lot of pressure.

"For right now I've just decided that whatever happens, happens and I'm not really responsible," Yeaman said earlier this week. "Probably before the coin toss I might be a little nervous."

As the two men shook hands after the tie-breaking coin toss, Bowden said to Davis and the crowd, "Well, as they say, I'd rather be lucky than good."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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