A Ping Pong Ball Decided the Weirdest Election in Wyoming History
Just in time for Election Day, here's a look back at the closest, and the weirdest, race in the long, strange history of Wyoming politics.
In November of 1994, the race for the state house between Republican Randall Luthi and Independent Larry Call finished in a dead heat of 1,941 votes each.
An odd Wyoming election law was invoked to decide the winner, when then-Governor Mike Sullivan pulled a ping pong ball from his cowboy hat. State law calls for ties to be settled by drawing lots.
As fate would have it, Sullivan chose the ping pong ball with Luthi’s name and the lawyer went on to represent Lincoln County in the state legislature for 12 years, including a two-year stint as Speaker of the House.
In the primary election earlier this year, House District 41 Republican candidate Bill Henderson defeated his opponent Patrick Fitzgerald by one vote, 583 to 582. Another race was decided by four votes.
It just goes to show that every vote counts, especially in a small state like Wyoming.