(Reuters) - An Arkansas city council candidate who twice showed up too late to vote for himself in a contest that ended in a tie wound up losing the race on Thursday in a dice roll to decide the winner.
Becky Linebaugh, an incumbent alderman in the small town of Hoxie, rolled a “six” to hold on to her seat for a third term, defeating challenger Cliff Farmer who came up short with a “four.”
The dice roll broke a 223-223 tie in a Dec. 4 runoff election, according to the Lawrence County Clerk’s Office, which oversaw the game of chance that ultimately decided the winner.
The runoff was scheduled after none of three candidates for alderman in the Nov. 6 election got a majority of the vote in Hoxie, a town of about 2,700 people located 120 miles (193 km) northeast of Little Rock.
“The main thing is for people to get out and vote,” said Linebaugh, 65, a bank bookkeeper. “I early voted because I was afraid something might happen and I might not be able to make it to the election.”
Her opponent, Cliff Farmer, 33, had a different approach.
Bad planning twice prevented him from making it to his local polling place in time to cast a ballot in the runoff vote. The first time he tried to vote early on Nov. 29 after his work day ended but arrived at 6 p.m., when the courthouse had already closed.
The second time, he was returning from a business trip on the runoff day, and planned to vote after his plane arrived in Memphis, Tennessee at 6:30 p.m. local time. Memphis is 80 miles from Hoxie, and Arkansas polls statewide were scheduled to close at 7:30 p.m.
Farmer, on the eve of the dice roll, had some advice for his fellow U.S. citizens.
“It doesn’t matter what you’re doing - get out there and vote!” said Farmer, who did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Thursday.
Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Rosalba O'Brien