Mississippi is one of 35 states that settles tied elections by chance. New Mexico has settled tied elections by high-card draw and even a single hand of poker.
It seems odd to a culture steeped in majority rule and SEC football to allow the winner to come down to flip of a coin. We don’t tie; this isn’t soccer, after-all. But if you assume all the votes counted for both candidates are legal, and the election was conducted according to the law, then either candidate has as equally credible call to lead; a winner must decided somehow. We hold new elections when the old elections were conducted improperly, not when voters are evenly split.
What if the election wasn’t properly conducted or votes which should have been counted were excluded, or votes that shouldn’t have been counted were added to the tally? A tied election – like any election – can be challenged for deficiencies. But a winner must still be certified for that process to move forward and for a judge to overturn or uphold results, or call for a full or partial election re-do.
Madison County Journal