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California election resolved with Dungeons & Dragons dice

Candidates roll save vs. tied result

Contra Costa County’s election-determining d20
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

In California, two candidates for an irrigation district’s board of commissioners ended up tied in November’s election and had to make a saving throw last week.

That’s right, incumbent Larry Enos Jr. and challenger Milan “Pete” Petrovich rolled a 20-sided die to determine their contest for a seat on the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District’s board. And the die was, in fact, taken from someone’s Dungeons & Dragons set. Scott Konopasek, assistant registrar of voters in Contra Costa County, said someone in the office happened to have it lying around.

Enos and Petrovich ended up tied at 51 votes for their race — only 147 voters were eligible, and 110 voted, which would ordinarily be great turnout, except that eight made no selection. California law says ties must be resolved by a drawing of lots, but doesn’t care what method is used.

That means Konopasek’s office could have gone with a coin flip, drawing high cards or a game of roshambo. But a good ol’ d20 — rolled three times — provided the best chance that the drawing would not end in, well, a draw again. Enos threw a 20 on his last roll, in a dice-off livestreamed on Facebook last Friday, and sealed his win 51-45 on aggregate.

Konopasek told KPIX-TV of San Francisco that he expects d20 to get more use in the future. The county has switched to newly configured district-based elections (this was the first election under them), and with the smaller vote totals expected, ties may be more likely.

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