After machine recount, Braden, Weidenhamer still tied (UPDATED)
After the machine recount, Rodney Braden and Tom Weidenhamer are still tied for the third and final seat on the Destin City Council. A manual recount is currently taking place at the Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections office in Crestview.
12 p.m. UPDATE:
After counting the two provisional ballots that remained, the Okaloosa County Supervisor of Election's Office reports that Rodney Braden and Tom Weidenhamer are tied at 579 votes, unofficially.
Bridget Richard Krebs, voter education and public relations coordinator for the election's office, says they are in the middle of doing the machine recount.
If the machine recount results indicate less than ¼ of one percent gap between the candidates, which is almost guaranteed, a manual recount will immediately follow. If still tied, a "game of chance" will follow, which could be the flip of a coin or the roll of dice.
A Destin city council race could be decided by a flip of coin.
Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux will hold a recount to determine the winner of the third seat on the Destin City Council.
Rodney Braden received one more vote than former Councilman Tom Weidenhamer, a margin of only .03 percent. Therefore, immediately following the canvassing board meeting at 10 a.m., Friday in the Supervisor’s Crestview office, a machine recount will be conducted.
If the machine recount results indicate less than ¼ of one percent gap between the candidates, which is almost guaranteed, a manual recount will immediately follow.
This is the second cliffhanger for Weidenhamer, who endured a recount in 2012 when Cyron Marler won by only 28 votes. Like two years ago, Weidenhamer is planning to head to Crestview for the tally.
“I was speculating as to whether there has been any recount in Okaloosa since my last recount,” Weidenahmer said, adding that the results show that every vote truly matters. “This really illustrates the point why you need to get out to vote if you want somebody.”
This isn't the first time Lux has seen a one-vote race, as he pointed to a Mary Esther race in the early 2000s. As for the possibility of a tie, Lux said it's not very likely. But if there were to be a stalemate, voting law says a “random game of chance” will determine the winner.
"Whether we flip a coin, roll dice or whatever the two candidates agree upon can be used to break a tie," Lux said.
With 1,632 ballots cast and a 17.2 percent voter turnout in Tuesday’s elections, Prebble Ramswell was the top vote-getter with 836 votes (19.65 percent) while incumbent Jim Foreman came in second with 685 votes (16.10 percent).
Braden came in third with 578 votes (13.58 percent) beating by the slimmest of margins Weidenhamer, who collected 577 votes (13.56 percent). Two provisional ballots have not been counted yet, and officials will determine Friday if they are valid.
"Man, I can't believe it," said Braden, who will also be in Crestview for the recount. "You just never know what's going to happen. I'll just keep my fingers crossed and hope this sticks. I'm ready to serve the community."
To read about the rest of the results from Tuesday's vote, CLICK HERE.