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After months of knocking on doors, gathering signatures, holding campaign events, an election and an additional two weeks to count mail-in ballots, the third and final seat on Mazon’s Village Board came down to a coin toss.
Incumbent James Hintze and newcomer Donna Lee each had 79 votes at the end of the official election canvass.
“This just goes to show that every vote does indeed count and how important every vote is, especially in our local elections,” Grundy County Clerk Kay Olson said.
At 2 p.m. April 23, election officials, along with Lee and Mazon Mayor Robert Breisch, standing in for Hintze who had to work, gathered in the third floor courtroom at the Grundy County Courthouse. Each candidate had to agree to and sign off on a set of rules. The coin would only be reflipped if it fell off the designated carpet square, struck an object before landing on the carpet or landed on its edge.
One coin was chosen from an unopened roll, a quarter minted in 1967.
Alphabetical order determines who flips and who calls the coin, meaning Hintze – or his stand-in – would flip the coin and Lee call it in the air. Breisch flipped the coin, Lee called heads, and it bounced off the square.
While Grundy County has a recent history of using coin flips to break election ties – in 2016 it was used to determine the winner of a County Board seat – Olson said this was the first time they’ve had to reflip a coin. The second time around, Lee called heads again. The coin stayed on the carpet, and showed tails. Hintze retained his seat on the board.
“If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be,” Lee said.
She said she plans on running again in the next election.