As of Monday afternoon, a winner has been declared in the previously tied race for Berrien County’s fifth district commission seat. In a tiebreaker broadcast via YouTube, Republican Bruce Gorenflo won the election by choosing the right slip of paper.
The Berrien County Board of Canvassers confirmed this weekend that both Gorenflo and his Democratic opponent, Rayonte Bell, each received 3,934 votes.
So, it came down to an old-fashioned tiebreaker: Bell and Gorenflo drew slips of paper from a covered box, and Gorenflo chose the one that said “Elected.”
“Well, it’s just kind of surreal," Gorenflo said. "I think my opponent said the same thing afterwards, he says ‘It feels like a dream.’ It’s kind of strange, but that’s how this year is. Who could have predicted any of this?”
Bell said while it’s disappointing for the election to come down to drawing slips of paper, he’s been grateful for the experience.
“You know, we campaign and we do the work, so it’s a little disappointing," he said. "But hopefully in the future, people realize that your vote counts. Every single vote counts.”
Bell said he will request a recount after the County Board of Canvassers certifies the election this week. The recount can begin after the State Board of Canvassers meets to canvass the election on Nov. 23.