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Neptune Beach City Council race down to chance

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(Photos courtesy of TheIslandTimes.com)

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – The race for Neptune Beach City Council Seat 4 will be decided in a game of chance Saturday.

The race between Richard Arthur and Rory Diamond ended in a tie after a recount on Nov. 7 and remained tied this week after the 10-day waiting period for military and absentee ballots ended.

The game of chance to decide the election will take place at 7:30 a.m. at the Election Center at 1 Imeson Park Blvd., Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland announced Friday.

The candidate who wins the game of chance becomes the Neptune Beach City Council Seat 4 representative.

Official elections results for the Nov. 4 General Election will be signed by the canvassing board and sent to the Division of Elections after the winner of the Neptune Beach City Council Seat 4 race is decided.

Law leaves the choice of the game of chance up to Holland, who told News4Jax after the recount that 20 pingpong balls will be numbered from one to 20 and put in a wind machine, and each candidate will pick one ball. The candidate picking the highest-numbered ball will win the election.

The order of who draws first from the machine will be decided by a coin toss. And which candidate calls the coin toss will be decided by drawing a name from a hat.

"I've been here 10 years now, almost, and never had a tied race," Holland said last week. "In fact, to our knowledge, Duval County has never had a tied race."

While rare, using chance to settle the outcome is widely recognized as an electoral tiebreaker. Coin tosses and other games of chance have broken ties in New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, Washington, Florida, Minnesota and New Hampshire. South Dakota and Arizona have used card games.