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Coin toss determines Albertville council race

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A rare coin toss has decided a city council race in Albertville, Minn., after candidates Mark Barthel and incumbent Larry Sorensen tied with 1,116 votes each on Election night, St. Michael Patch reports.

The coin flip came after a number of other procedures designed to settle a tie: A recount confirmed the tie and a council vote on a single contested ballot – a bubble on that ballot was not completely filled in for Sorenson – also resulted in a tie, a 2-2 vote on the five-member council (Sorensen abstained).

So the city clerk flipped a coin and it came up heads, which had been assigned to Sorensen, and he won four more years.

"It's a very strange election, but the process did what it was supposed to and I respect that," Barthel in the Star Tribune.

Coin flips are unusual but not without precedent, the Star Tribune says. In 2008, a mayoral race in Goodridge and a school board race in Farmington were both determined by a coin toss.

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