Nov 272006
Authors: Geoff Johnson

The mayoral race in the town of Dacono – that little town not quite halfway from Denver to Fort Collins, the one you always see signs for, but have never visited – is still not clearly decided.

The incumbent (it really doesn’t matter who this guy is for the purposes of this column) leads the other guy (see above) by one vote. The people (mainly white-haired Daconian women from what I could see) have to re-count the votes.

In the event of a tie, 9News told me this morning, Dacono uses a coin-flip.

Holy (expletive). Are you serious?

I became curious, and called the Fort Collins city clerk’s office. The FoCo way to break a tie is, really, not all that much better than the coin flip situation. Not at all.

According to the charter (the city charter I assume), the clerk’s office told me, the winner shall be chosen “by lot.”

I am a little slow, and when the woman told me that, I was a little confused. She told me this means the winner’s name will be chosen out of a hat. Wow. Huh.

A friend of mine spent fall break in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and she said there was a race for mayor of a small town in the area still up in the air.

The winner, she’d heard, would be determined by “a game of chance” – that being, I would assume, high card draw, a coin flip like above, or something along those lines.

Apparently, this chance business to break a tie is more or less a widespread practice. And I, well damn it, I am here to call for a change.

Wouldn’t “a game of chance” leave you, a potential mayoral voter, wanting more? Wouldn’t you rather see a game of. skill? Maybe not skill, but I mean, whatever game it is should at least require a little time investment. The candidates need not even be there for a coin flip – am I wrong?

I’d say we should sit the two candidates down at a chessboard, but where’s the fun in that.

So how about The Game of Life? They could have a slumber party of sorts. The candidates could get together – wearing jammies, of course – and eat popcorn, gossip about other politicians, and play a really, really intense game of The Game of Life.

The game could be televised on closed-circuit TV (I’d hope it would be, anyway). That way, the constituency would get to see the winner gleefully jump around the room before hugging the loser and promising they’ll go to lunch soon.

OK, so maybe The Game of Life wouldn’t be the best way to go for a political-tie situation. At the very least, I’d like to see two mayoral candidates play rock-paper-scissors (you may call it “ro-sham-bo”) one another:

Candidate 1: “So is it one-two-three-go, or just one-two-go?”

Candidate 2: “It’s ALWAYS one-two-go. I don’t know where you grew up, but that’s just how it is.”

Candidate 1: “I’m pretty sure I played one-two-three-go growing up.”

I don’t think we’d see any ties. I’m guessing Candidate 2 would be inside Candidate 1’s head with the rules-related scolding.

But that, I guess, is what I’ve been getting at here. A coin flip or a grab out of a hat is no way to determine our cities’ leaders.

Ro-sham-bo is more like it.

Geoff Johnson is a senior English major. His column appears every Tuesday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to

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