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March 22. 2013 11:09PM

Sandown treasurer race decided by the flip of a coin

SANDOWN - Erica Olsen was sworn in as Sandown's newest town treasurer on Thursday, but only after a tie vote, a recount, a coin toss, and another recount that ended in a second tie vote with different numbers.

Olsen and opponent Bruce Cleveland have been on pins and needles ever since election day when each ended up with 232 votes after a recount.

To break the tie, the two candidates gathered at the town hall on March 13 for a coin toss. First, they had to pull straws to decide who would get heads and who would have tails.

Olsen picked the larger straw, which meant she had heads.

The toss decided the race - almost.

While Olsen was declared the winner after the coin landed on heads, Cleveland had the right to call for another recount - and he did.

A recount was held Thursday afternoon at the town hall. After more than an hour of counting, Cleveland and Olsen each picked up another vote, meaning the race ended in another 233-233 tie.

"I was just really shocked again that it was another tie," Olsen said.

With a second tie vote after two recounts, Olsen was officially declared the winner because she won last week's coin toss. She was sworn in for a two-year term and is now looking forward to starting her new job.

"It's great to be part of a small town. When that position opened up it just seemed like the perfect time for me to put my name out there for it," said Olsen, who will take over the position that's been held by Cleveland since January.

This is the first time the 43-year-old mother of four, who's married to husband, Eric, has sought an elected position. A resident of Sandown for 16 years, Olsen's past experience includes serving on an Old Home Days committee, volunteering with the local Parent-Teacher Association, and helping with other town events.

"I wouldn't have put my name in if I didn't think I could do it," she said.


jschreiber@newstote.com


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