Luck of the draw determines township primary tie

Luck of the draw determines township primary tie. (WWMT/Jason Heeres)

Ross Township supervisor Gary Moore won the Republican primary by the luck of the draw one week after voters cast their ballots.

The current Ross Township supervisor and write-in candidate Robert Baker each received 547 votes in the Republican primary election. Per state law, a blind drawing was used as a tie breaker.

Two pieces of paper were placed in a box by Kalamazoo County Clerk Tim Snow. One read "elected" the other "not elected."

Moore, who was initially appointed as Ross Township supervisor, won the Republican nomination by the luck of the draw to run unopposed for the position in November.

Moore said, “I just feel this is another step in the process and I'm just thankful for the process and that it's working the way it's designed to work.”

Ties do happen every now and again. However, Snow said it's very rare to have such a close a race between a candidate who is on the ballot and a write-in.

Baker said, “Pretty depressed right now actually because, like I said, we had hundreds of people behind this movement to try to bring trust and transparency back to the township.

Baker decided to run as a write-in amid controversy over Ross Township ordinances allowing medical marijuana growers to move into residential zones.

Moore said, “The issue that we worked our way through, we've done our best and we've done our best to represent the people of Ross Township.”

Baker received 97 percent of all the write-in votes for town supervisor. That leaves 16 other ballots that filled in the oval for a write-in, but wrote a name, that according to canvassers, doesn't look like Baker.

Baker said, “I wanted to be able to see those so I'm definitely going to do the recount.”

Ballots with Baker written out, but no oval filled aren't counted. The State Board of Canvassers meets on Aug. 27 to review recount applications.

As Moore was leaving Baker supporters told him it's not over.

Moore said, " I know."

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