Tied election procedures amended, advanced

A bill that would allow a tied candidate in the primary election to file as a write-in candidate in the general election was amended March 5 to exclude statewide and federal office elections.

Under LB144, as introduced by Bancroft Sen. Lydia Brasch, any candidate who loses a primary election decision “by lot” for county, city, village or school district office would be eligible as a write-in candidate in the general election for the same office.

Brasch said the current method for resolving a tie is unfair.

“[This process represents] a crucial aspect of democracy,” she said. “The bill allows a chance to be elected by the choice of the voters, instead of by lot.”

Currently, these primary elections that result in a tie are decided by lot — an object used to determine a question by chance such as a coin toss or the drawing of a card. The loser of the decision by lot is ineligible to run for the same office in the general election, including write-in candidacy, filing by petition or filing a nomination. The only exception is when there is a vacancy on the ballot for that office.

A Brash amendment, adopted 27-0, excluded from the bill candidates for statewide office, including governor, state senator, attorney general and state auditor, as well as candidates for federal offices.

Senators advanced the bill to final reading by voice vote.

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