Minnesota City Council race determined by coin flip

A City Council race in Albertville that hinged on a single contested ballot has instead been decided by a coin flip.

The initial vote count had candidate Mark Barthel winning by one vote. A recount reversed the outcome, with Larry Sorensen up by one vote.

Barthel then contested a ballot in which the voter only partially filled in the bubble next to Sorensen’s name. The City Council was divided on whether the ballot should be considered valid, prompting Monday’s coin toss.

Sorensen was assigned heads and Barthel tails. A Minneapolis Star Tribune report  says heads prevailed.

Sorensen says the outcome proves how true it is that every vote counts. Barthel says he respects the integrity of the process.

Albertville is about 30 miles northwest of Minneapolis.