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February 25, 2014 | 10:03 AM
BLOOMFIELD — A game of chance didn’t need to end the tie in the village trustee race.

On Tuesday night, the election ended with a tie for last place with Dave Nusberger and Rita Marcinkus each receiving 29 votes.

William Holder earned 77 votes, Gary Grolle got 76 and Douglas J. Mushel, 58.

On Tuesday night, village of Bloomfield Clerk and Treasurer Cindy Howard said 10 absentee ballots are unaccounted for. A total of 39 absentee ballots were taken out and 29 had been returned.

By the Friday deadline, four of those absentee ballots were returned. The absentee ballots were counted at a canvassing meeting on Friday afternoon at the Village Hall.

Half of the absentee ballots were rejected — one wasn’t signed and another was dated after the election.

Another ballot added to the vote totals for Mushel and Holder. However, the first ballot that was opened had a vote for Dave Nusberger. This inched him ahead of Marcinkus and earned him a spot on the April ballot.

Primaries reduce the number of candidates on the ballot to twice the number of available seats. In April, voters will select two candidates for village trustee. The purpose of Bloomfield’s primary was to reduce the number of candidates from five to four.

After Howard announced that Nusberger won, Nusberger and Marcinkus shook hands.

Marcinkus has three business days to request a recount, Howard said.

Prior to the votes being counted, Nusberger lamented to a reporter about the number of people attending the canvassing meeting. In attendance were election inspectors, elected officials, candidates and one reporter.

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“I didn’t want it to be a spectator sport,” he said.

Had Nusberger not received an absentee vote, the election would have been decided by a game of chance.

Prior to the canvassing meeting, Howard purchased a fresh deck of cards, dice and had a coin handy for a coin flip.

Oddly enough, in Bloomfield’s short history as a village, this is the second election to end in a tie.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, Sarah Schultz and Rich Olenoski both earned 114 votes in the general election for a spot on the village board.

That Saturday, the two met to break the tie with a deck of cards. Whoever drew the high card was a trustee.

Olenoski had first pick. He drew a jack of hearts. Schulz drew a king of hearts. She was declared the winner.

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