Alderman candidate misses chance to cast deciding vote for himself in runoff election | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 7, 2018

Alderman candidate misses chance to cast deciding vote for himself in runoff election

Posted By on Fri, Dec 7, 2018 at 1:04 PM

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Here's a Jonesboro Sun story out of Lawrence County that's grabbing a lot of attention: Cliff Farmer, the challenger for a seat on the Hoxie City Council, failed to vote in Tuesday's runoff election. That resulted in a tie with his opponent, incumbent Alderwoman Becky Linebaugh.

The AP, which picked up the story from the Sun, said Farmer and his wife were returning home from vacation on Dec. 4 and didn't make it back to Hoxie from the Memphis airport before the polls closed. Farmer's wife voted early; Farmer himself did not.

Both he and the incumbent received 223 votes. "Linebaugh says she voted," the AP notes.

I called Lawrence County Clerk Tina Stowers to ask what happens next. (When I introduced myself as a journalist, she started laughing — she's already gotten several calls from curious reporters, she said.)

The winner will be determined by drawing lots in an open meeting held by the county election commission on Thursday, Dec. 13, at 11 a.m., Stowers said. Both candidates must be present at the meeting.

The law doesn't specify a method by which to draw lots, Stowers said. "We’ve kind of laughed and had a good time with it. Is it going to be jousting on the courthouse lawn?" she said. "But it’s going to be something like draw cards or roll dice or flip a coin."

A side note: a total of 446 votes is a respectable turnout in a runoff election for an alderman election in Hoxie (pop. 2,780). Stowers agreed. "It is a pretty decent turnout … and that was due to the fact that we had a mayor's race. ... Plus there were two runoffs for city council." (The other was resolved on Tuesday, she said.)

I just know there's a Miller Williams poem that would fit here perfectly, but I'm drawing a blank.

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