Benton: Runoff Preferred In Election Tie

It’s (Indeed) A Tie

Candidates Agree: Runoff, Not Coin Toss


COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego County Board of Elections today certified the Republican Mary Margaret Robbins and Democrat MacGuire Benton are indeed tied at 272 votes for a Cooperstown Village Board seat.

The next question: coin toss or runoff?

Both candidate ruled out the coin-toss option.

“I want the people to decide,” Benton said. “The vote is critically important; it’s democracy.”

Asked if she supported a runoff election, Robbins replied, “Absolutely.  The people of Cooperstown deserve a choice.”

Village Administrator Teri Barown, who oversees village elections, said the earlier a special election can be held is Tuesday, Sept. 29.

According to county elections commissioner Michael Henrici, a tie can be settled with either a “lot” – a coin toss or drawing a name from a hat – only if both parties agree.  Even then, said Barown, the lots must be approved by a state Supreme Court judge.

If neither candidate agrees to the lots, it goes to a run-off election, which can be held no earlier than 10 days after the tie is certified. While Benton had expressed his preference, Barown said, as of this afternoon, neither candidate had approached her on the matter.

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