Sherow keeps commission seat after provisional vote count

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When democracy doesn’t work, luck takes over.

A tie for a two-year seat on the city commission was the result this morning when provisional ballots were added to the totals from last week’s election, said Deputy County Clerk Jolene Campbell. Jayme Morris-Hardeman received four votes, which brought her to 2,545 votes and tied her with Jim Sherow.

County Commissioner Al Johnson flipped a coin to determine the victor.

“It was double-checked to make sure it wasn’t a two-headed coin,” Campbell said.

Sherow said Morris-Hardeman should make the call as she was the incumbent, she said. Morris-Hardeman called “heads,” and the coin was flipped. The “tails” side came out on top, and Sherow was named the winner.

Johnson said he kept the coin, a 2005 quarter with a dedication to the state of Oregon on the back.

There were 89 provisional ballots filled out county wide in last week’s election, with 69 of them turning out to be valid and three of them partial, Campbell said. The remaining 17 were ruled invalid and not counted.

A ballot is considered provisional when the validity of a voter’s registration is questionable and must be checked before the vote is tallied, Campbell said.

She said ballots are considered partial when people vote in the wrong area and only some of the offices for which they voted can be counted.

Sherow said it was a bizarre ending to the campaign. He said it was strange that a tie could happen in the election with more than 6,000 voters getting three votes each.

“For me, it was a matter of fate which way it went,” Sherow said.

Morris-Hardeman could not be reached to comment for this story.

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