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About
the film

Set against the looming and presumably competitive and divisive 2020 US Presidential Election. Win, Lose or Draw Straws is a feature length documentary exploring one particular oddity of the US election system that is the existence of and wildly varied ways of determining election contests that end in perfect ties. Told by the people who experienced the emotional highs and lows of a political campaign that was determined by a game of chance.

Written & Directed by Casey Phillips
Produced by Katie Hauer & John Hibey
Executive Producers Josh Robinson & Brian walsh

Meet
The Cast

Meet the cast who make this film. We re-visit many of our star characters to get their final thoughts on the bigger questions while we wrap up the loose ends of chance, fate, hard work and difference making.


It
Really
Happens

The chances are greater than you think. Travel with us around the country to uncover the most bizarre election tie-breakers in American history while exposoing possible election fraud, the backroom dealing and insider trading of local politics. Along the way we meet colorful characters who have participated, covered, worked on, voted or not voted in a real election that ended in a perfect tie.

'DUNGEONS & DRAGONS' DICE USED TO BREAK ELECTION TIE IN CALIFORNIA

"A tied local election in California was decided in a peculiar -- but magical -- fashion earlier this month. According to the New York Post, a 20-sided die from the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons was used to determine the new Byron-Bethany Irrigation District Director..." - Fox News Insider, 12/16/18

HE DIDN’T GET TO VOTE IN HIS RACE. IT TIED, THEN HE LOST BY A ROLL OF THE DICE.

"Never underestimate the value of a single vote. That’s a fact that Cliff Farmer, of Hoxie, Ark., knows all too well. Last week, Mr. Farmer missed an opportunity to vote for himself in a City Council election, with the vote ending in a 223-to-223 draw, according to an election official.The tie was broken around midday Thursday at the nearby county courthouse by a roll of dice. Mr. Farmer, the challenger, rolled a 4, losing to the incumbent, Becky Linebaugh, who rolled a 6, according to Ashlyn Griffin, the deputy clerk of Lawrence County, Ark..." - Niraj Chokshi, The New York Times, 12/13/18

TIED ELECTION COULD BE DECIDED BY COIN FLIP: THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY OF MAKING IMPORTANT DECISION OTHER THAN LUCK

"Today the Alaska Division of Elections will recount ballots cast for House District 1, which have put Democrat Kathryn Dodge and Republican Bart LeBon in a tie at 2,661 votes a piece. If this recount produces the same result there will be a coin toss. House District 1’s representation would be left to chance. The potential for a GOP House majority will hinge on heads or tails..." - Daily News-Miner, 11/30/18

VIRGINIA DECIDES TIED ELECTION BY DRAWING NAME FROM BOWL

"Virginia used a random drawing on Thursday to select Republican David Yancey as the winner of a deadlocked state House election — a race that had been contested since November. The State Board of Elections certified Yancey’s selection after a short ceremony in the state’s Patrick Henry building in Richmond after picking his name out of a ceramic bowl..." - Mark Monroe, New York Post, 1/4/18

HOW DO STATES NAME THE WINNER IN A TIED ELECTION?

"RICHMOND, Va. — When voters can’t pick a winner, sometimes lady luck has to step in. Control of Virginia’s state House could be decided at random next week when election officials draw names to decide the winner in a tied state legislative race. To settle the tie, the state elections board plans to print each candidate’s name on a separate piece of paper, place each paper into a separate film canister, place the canisters into a glass bowl or some other container and shake them up. The canister containing the winner’s name will be pulled out at random..." - Associated Press/PBS News Hour, 12/21/17

DRAWING FROM A HAT DECIDES WYOMING RACE

"CHEYENNE, Wyo. — In a race decided by a Ping-Pong ball, Republican Randall Luthi won a seat in the state House on Wednesday. A ball bearing Luthi's name was drawn from the battered cowboy hat of Gov. Mike Sullivan during a meeting of the state Canvassing Board, settling the race Luthi tied with independent Larry Call. Each candidate got 1,941 votes in the Nov. 8 election. State law calls for such ties to be settled by drawing lots. "It is democracy at its best," proclaimed the declared winner..." - Associated Press/Los Angeles Times, 11/17/1994

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