Tied in Tosa: Race for alderman deadlocked

Tied in Tosa: Race for alderman deadlocked

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- After months of campaigning and a night of counting, the race for alderman in Wauwatosa's District 5 is tied.

Incumbent Rob Gustafson and challenger Sean Lowe have 702 votes apiece. Both say they expected a close race, but not this close.

"Never in my wildest imagination would I expect to be here with a tie today," Lowe said.

But there is one voter out there who could still break the deadlock.

"This seems like something that you would find in a movie or a TV show or something," Gustafson said.

One District 5 voter cast a provisional ballot. Wauwatosa Clerk Steven Braatz says it could still be counted to potentially break the tie.

"A provisional ballot is when a voter cannot provide an acceptable ID on Election Day, so they can still vote. The vote is not counted until they are able to provide that. And they have until 4 o'clock on Friday to produce that ID," Braatz said.

Braatz tells CBS 58 that the Board of Canvassers will meet Friday, April 8 at 4 p.m. to certify the results. If there is still a tie, a game of chance like drawing lots or a coin flip will break that tie.

"The next few days is probably still going to be in a state of shock and disbelief until it's all done," Lowe said.

Gustafson said he offered a solution which is not consistent with Wisconsin election law.

"I told Sean a couple of days ago him and I should decide it with an arm-wrestling match in the parking lot of City Hall."

An email from Eva Ennamorato, communications manager for Wauwatosa, outlined the next steps:

"Election results are unofficial until all provisional ballots are counted and the Board of Canvassers meets to certify results.
There is a provisional ballot in Aldermanic District 5. A provisional ballot is a ballot that is marked but is not counted at the time it is cast. It is issued to a voter who is unable to provide the poll workers with documentation as required by Wisconsin federal law. A provisional ballot will not be counted unless the voter provides the required information to the city clerk by 4:00 pm on Friday, April 8.
The Board of Canvassers will meet on Friday, April 8 at 4:00 pm to certify results.
If the aldermanic race remains tied, Wisconsin statutes outline a process for determining results. This process is a method of chance, such as a drawing of lots.
Per state law, eligible candidates will have the ability to request a recount by 5:00 pm on Wednesday, April 13.
We will release another update after the Board of Canvassers meets on Friday, April 8."
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