California voters who didn’t cast a ballot in this East Bay race might regret it now.
Because the two candidates in the election were tied, Dungeons & Dragons dice chose who will serve as Byron-Bethany Irrigation District Director 1 last week — and the elections office in Contra Costa County livestreamed the nerve-wracking, tie-breaking dice rolls on Facebook.
Each candidate got 51 votes in the election, officials said.
“The statute says when we have a tie that the winner is determined by lot,” Assistant County Registrar Scott Konopasek said, explaining that ties are a rarity. “It doesn’t say what kind of lottery to use, so we’ve been kind of creative here on our own and we’re going to use a die — we’ve got a 20-sided die that each of you will get to roll three times.”
Rolls that landed on the ground instead of on the table during the Dec. 7 tiebreaker would have to be redone, officials said.
“We will record your rolls and add up the numbers, and the one with the highest number will be declared winner,” Konopasek said.
Milan Petrovich, the challenger in the election, went first around 11 a.m. with a roll of 16. Then came incumbent Larry Enos, with a roll of 15.
Petrovich got 16 again, and then Enos did, too.
Petrovich’s next roll was 13. But Enos got 20 (the dice nearly rolled off the table, but didn’t) which got Enos a total of 51. That was the same number of votes each man got, and also enough to win against Petrovich’s 45-point total.
“This is a little different — not what I expected,” Enos said, according to Bay Area News Group. “Every vote counts. I was expecting a coin toss.”
The video the elections office posted to Facebook has been viewed more than 2,000 times.
“Amazing demonstration of the importance of turning out every vote,” one Facebook user commented.
That said, 102 people voting in the race wasn’t a horrible turnout: There were just 147 people eligible to vote in the contest, said Paul Burgarino of county elections department, according to Bay Area News Group.
The Byron-Bethany Irrigation District serves a 47-square mile region that includes parts of Contra Costa, Alameda and San Joaquin Counties. It delivers water to 160 agricultural customers and roughly 20,000 people in Mountain House, a community in San Joaquin County.
“We deliver water so fruits and vegetables grow,” the irrigation district’s website says.
After the rolling was over, Petrovich promptly shook hands with the incumbent winner and walked out. Petrovich had previously served as vice mayor of Brentwood, Bay City News Service reports.
An Arkansas city council race was also decided with a roll of the dice this month, the Associated Press reports. But in that election, the man who lost can’t just blame the dice: The race was tied, and he hadn’t voted, according to AP.