LINCOLN — Luck of the draw, not the will of the voters, decided who won the 2010 primary election for Morrill County sheriff.
The two candidates, Milo Cardenas and Travis Petersen, tied with 379 votes each. Cardenas won by drawing a nine of hearts, which beat the six of spades drawn by Petersen.
A bill advanced Tuesday by Nebraska lawmakers on a 28-6 vote would allow candidates who lose tiebreaker elections to have a second chance at getting elected.
Under Legislative Bill 144, a candidate who lost in the primary on a tiebreaker could mount a write-in candidacy for the general election, not allowed under current state law.
Current state law bars people who lose in the primary from trying to run again in the general election as a write-in.
State Sen. Lydia Brasch of Bancroft, who introduced LB 144, said the law is not fair to candidates who lose by chance.
She offered eight examples of primary elections, from 1930 on, that were decided by a coin flip or a card draw. Her bill would apply to city, county, village and school district elections.
Some lawmakers questioned why the same option should not apply to other elected offices. State senators agreed to look at expanding the bill’s reach before second-round consideration.