Oneida County election comes down to a coin flip

After a tie in the District 13 County Board Supervisory race, a coin flip awarded the win to Collette Sorgel Friday morning
Collette Sorgel defeated Brian Slizewski in the coin flip Friday
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 6:43 PM CDT
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RHINELANDER, Wis. (WSAW) - The fate of a local election came down to a flip of a coin Friday morning after a tie vote earlier this week. The race for District 13 County Board Supervisory in Oneida County was locked at 177-177 between Collette Sorgel and Brian Slizewski following the initial tally.

“What happens, in that case, is our Board of Canvass meets, verifying that the results that came in that night verify the results the machine printed off,” explained Oneida County Clerk Tracy Hartman. “It was indeed a draw and so a drawing of lots has to occur and we chose to flip a coin to determine the winner.”

Members of the board gathered at the Oneida County Courthouse Friday morning for the official flip. Sorgel was assigned heads, while Slizewski was assigned tails. Hartman, who used a U.S. silver dollar, made the official flip. In front of spectators, the toss landed on heads, giving Sorgel the victory.

“I was relieved,” said Sorgel. “One way or another, I just needed to know if I was still in the running or not.”

Slizewski still has the option to request a recount, which he told NewsChannel 7 over the phone Friday afternoon, he’s considering it.

“Regardless, Collette is a great candidate,” said Slizewski. “We actually see eye-to-eye on a lot of things.”

As for Sorgel, aside from relief, she emphasized why this is a perfect example that every vote counts.

“The big reaction I had is one vote can make a huge difference,” said Sorgel. “In this race, either one of us could have had one more person and not have the coin toss which I think would’ve been a lot less stressful.”

Slizewski has until Wednesday at 5 p.m. to request a recount. Regardless of the recount, all county board supervisors elect will be sworn in on April 26.

“I consider myself lucky,” said Sorgel. “I win raffles and door prizes, never, never, never the lottery, nothing big, but nice little things.”

“It’s fun,” said Hartman. “I’ve been a clerk for 15 years, county clerk for five. At this point, you think you’ve probably seen most of what you probably can see in an election, but this was a new one for me.”

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