Gregg Precinct 4 Commissioner's race tied; now what? - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Gregg Precinct 4 Commissioner's race tied; now what?

Kathryn Nealy looks at the vote tie rules. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV. Kathryn Nealy looks at the vote tie rules. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV.

The Gregg County Precinct 4 Commissioner’s race was as close as you can get. In fact, it was a tie. We spoke with the Gregg County Election Administrator to find out exactly what that means.

“One thousand thirty-six; have you ever seen anything like that happen before?” I asked.

“Since I have been Election Administrator, we have not had a tie vote for a county office,” Kathryn Nealy said.

That has been about 12 years, although she’s worked in the election administration office since 1991.

The candidates, Shannon Brown and Kasha Williams, can and probably will request a recount.

“That’s kind of a long, drawn-out procedure. They have to file a petition within about five days from the date of the election,” Nealy stated.

And the requester has to pay a deposit for the extra work.

“If the outcome changes in their favor, they get their deposit back,” Nealy said.

The candidate can request something else, too.

“An electronic recount or a paper recount,” Nealy stated.

Paper costs more.

“If they don’t request, will there still be a recount?” I asked her.

“Yes,” Nealy replied.

That would be up to the Democratic Party Chairman and Kathryn if there is no request. But there are still votes coming in: Mail-in ballots.

“We have a little over 50 that have not been returned yet,” Kathryn said.

They have the applications, the ballots due the day after Election Day, and there are provisional ballots due 6 days after election day.

“If one candidate gets one more vote than the other that will break the tie, and they will actually have won,” Nealy explained.

Because the vote would make it the magic 50 percent +1 vote margin. But if it’s still tied after all that?

“The candidates will cast lots,” Nealy revealed.

Or flip a coin; Gamble, basically.

“Shouldn’t we have just done that in the first place?” I asked Nealy.

“No,” she laughed.

It’s all careful strategy, until it becomes luck.

Nealy wants to point out that this goes to show that one vote really does make a difference. By the way, the Party Chairman is the one who defines “casting lots,” whether it’s flipping a coin or highest card wins or anything in between.

The Gregg County Precinct 4 JP race was pretty close too, ten votes apart. Incumbent James Mathis with 975 votes and Challenger Robby Cox with 965. Nealy says that race will go to a runoff election.

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