What Happens If A Texas Election Ends In A Tie?

The Constitution specifies the “casting of lots” in tied state House and Senate races.


By Jill Ament & Ben PhilpottJanuary 5, 2018 7:06 am, , ,

From KUT:

An election in Virginia was decided this morning by luck. Luck of the draw, specifically. The race between Republican David Yancey and Democrat Shelly Simonds for the Virginia House of Delegates was tied after a recount. So, today the State Board of Elections put their names in a bowl and pulled out the name of the winner: incumbent Yancey.

The news around this unorthodox way to pick an elected official got the KUT Newsroom wondering: What would happen if there were a tie in Texas?

KUT’s Ben Philpott talked with Laura Rice. He says the state Constitution addresses the issue in two ways; depending on the type of election in question.

In a state House or Senate race, a tied result triggers an automatic recount. If there’s still a tie after the recount, another election is held within 30 days. If the new election is tied, Philpott says, there would be a “casting of lots” – which is what happened in Virginia, minus the second election part.

“It’s essentially an act that generates a random result,” he says. “The precise method isn’t specified in Texas law.

For most statewide offices, either candidate can ask for a recount in the event of a tie. Next, members of the Senate and House vote, and the candidate receiving the most votes wins.