Monday, July 08, 2024

Rep. Townley plans to file bill to update tied election procedures

Townley to File Bill Updating Procedures for Tied Elections

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Tammy Townley, R-Ardmore, today announced her intention to file a bill next session updating election procedures in the event of a tied election.

Townley represents House District 48, which includes Carter County. She said the bill was inspired by the outcome of the June 18 primary election for Carter County Sheriff. A recount on June 28 confirmed both candidates received 2,569 votes.

Current statute does not allow for runoff elections when only two candidates run for a position. Title 26, Section 8-105 states any race that remains tied after provisional ballot analysis and a recount must be decided by a lot held by the county election board.

Ultimately, the winner of that race was chosen via a random drawing of a name from a bucket.

"I had no idea that we still had archaic practices like this on the books," Townley said. "I had assumed, as I suspect many others did as well, that this race would proceed to a runoff. I was shocked to learn that a race could be decided by a game of chance rather than by voters."

Townley said after learning the election result could be determined by a random drawing, she immediately began considering other alternatives to propose in the bill.

"I've heard from many of my constituents in Carter County who are frustrated with the way this race has to be decided because of an outdated statute," Townley said. "I started working to draft the bill the same day I learned there could be a drawing."

Townley said the bill, which has not yet been filed, would provide several options in the event of a tied race and would be at the discretion of the county election board secretary to decide how to proceed. While Townley is still developing the bill, she said that the opportunity for a runoff election would be included in the list.

"It's 2024. We have the technology and resources available to organize a runoff election in the event of a tied race," Townley said. "We must make every effort to ensure elections are decided by voters, not by luck."

The bill will be filed for consideration in the next legislative session, which begins Feb. 3, 2025.


Post a Comment

PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME when commenting. Anonymous comments may be rejected if NOT accompanied by a name.

Comments are welcome, but remember - commenting on my blog is a privilege. Do not abuse that privilege, or your comment will be deleted.

Thank you for joining in the discussion at! Your opinion is appreciated!