Augusta village president race results in a tie

ROSS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The closest race this November in Kalamazoo County is to become Augusta’s next village president. The vote has resulted in a tie.

Incumbent Village President John Thomas received 199 votes and Village Trustee Heather Bowers also received 199 votes.

Kalamazoo County Clerk Tim Snow says, once the board of canvassers verifies the tie, either candidate could request a recount. That would cost $25 a precinct for this race.

If that comes back as a tie or a recount is not requested, the decision comes down to a drawing under Michigan law giving each candidate a 50/50 chance.

“I prepare two slips of paper. One says elected. One says not elected. I put them in a box or hat or something like that, they stick their hands in, pull it out and that’s the deciding factor,” Snow said.

Jeff Heppler, the village manager and police chief, says Thomas and Bowers campaigned hard to the very end.

“I was very surprised to hear how close it was,” Heppler said.

In Ross Township, which includes the village of Augusta, the race for township supervisor resulted in a tie two years ago.

“It was a tie and then we had a recount and then there was a two-vote margin, I think,” Snow said.

Heppler says the candidates have been involved in village government for many years.

“Both individuals have been a member of the community for a very long time. Both very active on the board,” Heppler said.

Thomas did not want to speak on camera but told News 8 on the phone he is working through the process and has not decided if he will request a recount.

Bowers says she is waiting for the ballot count to be certified and will then follow the legal process to determine the outcome of a tie.

Heppler says the race for Augusta Village President really shows that every votes matter.

“Every vote counts in an election and I was very pleased to see how many people were out voting this year,” Heppler said.