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City of Columbia explains next steps after a tie between two candidates for the Third Ward seat


The fight continues to fill Columbia's Third Ward city council seat, after a tie between two candidates.

Roy Lovelady and Karl Skala were stagnant at 1,102 votes in the April election. A recount of absentee ballots will determine who takes the seat. The City of Columbia says if the results come back tied, there could be an easy solution in selecting a winner.

It could be just as simple as drawing a name from a hat but only if both candidates agree to this option.

"We're on the edge of our seat over here just like everyone else," said Sydney Olsen, public information officer for the City of Columbia.

"We're kinda in a limbo right now waiting until we find out how to proceed", said Third Ward candidate Karl Skala on Tuesday.

A tie in the Columbia's City Council's Third Ward may have driven the community to the edge of their seats, but Sydney Olsen says there are really only two options left to take.

"The city clerk can call for an election and there's also another option if candidates both agree to it for there to be a drawing," said Olsen.

If a candidate were to opt-out of a drawing, a special election will be held. The current officeholder will continue to serve until a candidate is elected and qualified. "It's pretty limited on what happens next," said Olsen.

And according to the city, there is still time left to receive military ballots. That deadline is set for Friday at noon. Olsen says this could change the outcome of the tie.

After a careful count of the military ballot and only if the race still ends in a tie, a drawing could be held.

"This is an example in a local election where every vote counts, almost to the extreme," said Olsen.  

"I think the voters ought to be ready to get ready because obviously, this is a very close race," said Skala on Tuesday.  

ABC 17 News also tried reaching out to Roy Lovelady for comment, but he's declined comment at this time until he has further direction from the city.

Kennedy Miller


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