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Sean Arnold
Chiefland City Commission candidates Tim West and Teresa Barron embrace at Town Hall August 7 after learning they split the vote.
Tim West draws winning straw in City election tiebreaker

Every vote counts.

It’s the old cliche that comes up whenever you hear someone urging citizens to do their civic duty at the polls.

But sometimes, every vote – and every subsequent coin flip or drawing of straws – really does count.

In the Chiefland City Commission Group 4 election August 7 between incumbent Teresa Barron and challenger Tim West, the race was decided by something even slimmer than a single ballot – a straw.

The night ended with West drawing the long (winning) straw from County Judge Tim Browning, who was serving as the Canvassing Board Chairman, after the pair managed to yield the exact same number of votes at 90 apiece.

A manual recount of all votes August 9, part of an already-schduled provisional review and voting system audit, confirmed the machine tally.

In a surreal scene at City Hall, Barron and West and their respective supporters were informed around 7:30 p.m. that the election was dead even and a machine recount was required by law. The recount didn’t find an discrepancies, however, and there were no over or under votes to manually recount.