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School board member who lost dice roll could challenge result

Challenger Scott Long and incumbent Houston County School Board member Ricky Moore settle vote tie with dice roll.
Challenger Scott Long and incumbent Houston County School Board member Ricky Moore settle vote tie with dice roll.(WTVY News 4)
Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 7:47 PM CDT
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A school board member who lost his seat because of poor dice rolls is contemplating a lawsuit to get the results overturned.

Ricky Moore, the incumbent, and challenger Scott Long received the same number of votes—742---in the Republican Primary for Houston County School Board. That deadlock came after two provisional ballots counted Wednesday went to Moore.

Faced with a 5 pm deadline to name a winner, local Republican Party Executive Chairman Brandon Shoupe chose to decide the matter with dice. Long won the roll off.

“I feel like my religious freedoms have been violated,” said Moore, a Pentecostal who opposes all forms of gambling.

Had he chosen not to roll, Long, a Dothan police captain, would have been declared the winner. Moore said that left him with little choice.

Alabama law addresses matters like this one.

"In all elections where there is a tie between the two highest candidates for the same office, for all county or precinct offices, it shall be decided by lot by the sheriff of the county in the presence of the candidates.”

A lot is a method for deciding something.

Sheriff Donald Valenza witnessed the dice rolls.

Shoupe said he hoped the tie could have been resolved by a vote of the party's executive committee but, with only about three hours to make a decision, a meeting couldn't be arranged.

He also had the authority to choose a winner himself and would have done so had both Moore and Long not agreed to the dice roll. Moore would have been his choice.

This is not the first time an election in Alabama has ended in a tie. One prior situation occurred in 2018 when two candidates for Clay County sheriff deadlocked. A coin toss chose that winner.

A coin toss also decided a Limestone Board of Education race in 2008.

Moore said he will decide in the next few days whether to challenge the election outcome.

No Democrat is seeking the Houston County School Board seat. .

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