Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spearfish, South Dakota Has Lost Their Marbles

(maximum hattip to amicus bloggus, BiMus)

The town of Spearfish, South Dakota has selected a city councilman by picking a marble out of a bag.


The race for city council between David Baker and Shawn Dardis ended in a 126-126 tie, so they did the only logical thing - they picked a marbles out of a bag. Incredibly, picking a marble out of a bag was not simply the only logical thing to do, but it was the only legal thing to do as well (emphasis mine):
Spearfish did not have an ordinance that stated what to do in the event of a tied election; nothing on the books called for a runoff. So, officials looked to state law, which says candidates must play a game of chance to determine a winner.
Again, picking a marble was demanded by South Dakotan law. This can not be stated enough. Okay, so you are forced to pick a marble, just pick one. Right? Not in Spearfish. They are nowhere near that arbitrary (emphasis mine. again):
Baker and Dardis each rolled a die before a group of supporters at a special city council meeting Tuesday night. The winner of the highest roll would then decide whether they would pick first from a purple Crown Royal bag containing two marbles -- one black, one white. The candidate with the white marble would clinch the seat.
Just to restate for clarity - Two people running for public office in Spearfish, South Dakota rolled a die to choose a marble to see who would win an election.

Unstated in the article was the game of "rock, paper, scissors" they played to choose odds or evens to see who got to call heads or tails to see who got to roll the die first. HumorSlaysMe has received an exclusive image of the election process:

Asked for comment, Rube Goldberg said the election went as smoothly and simply as possible.