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Coin Toss Decides Mayoral Election in Philippines

  • 12
  • 05
  • 2016

Election time is always exciting. Candidates try to gather votes for months, amass support, and then bite their nails as results trickle in during the day of judgment. For Eleanor “Joni” Villanueva and Jim Valerio, who were running for mayor in a first-class municipality in the Philippines, election day turned out to be especially nerve wracking. At the end of the day, both candidates ended at exactly 16,694 votes. Naturally, a coin toss to decide the winner was the only viable option.

The coin toss wasn’t the first option for the lawyers of both candidates, however. Only after an hour of fierce discussions, they decided on fate as the decider. According to the official resolution, ties may be resolved by casting lots.


Although many voters would have probably preferred a different method of deciding the final outcome, both candidates and their lawyers agreed on a coin toss to determine the winner. This to the frustration of some of the voters, who wished more of their peers had shown up to cast their vote in the first place – probably wishing for an odd number, too.

Since the votes that were collected didn’t bring the resolution, the process ended in a best-of-five-flip series. Watched by a small crowd, the coin landed in favor of Eleanor Villanueva, who will be succeeding her brother, outgoing Mayor Eduardo Villanueva Jr. There’s a big chance her ‘lucky quarter’ will take a prominent place on her mayoral desk for the entire term.

Photo Credits: Tony Magdaraog

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