Dakota Datebook

Cut of the Cards

Saturday, November 13, 2010

 

On this date in 1924, a post-election drama occurred in Fessenden. Following that year’s vote, Con Sellie, an Independent, had been elected by a margin of two votes to the North Dakota House of Representatives over William R. Hartl, of the NPL. Because of the close margin, a recount was conducted. This ended in a tie with each candidate having 1,596 votes. To avoid a runoff election, the perplexed election officials determined to settle the question with a deck of cards. The person who drew the highest two cards out of three would take the seat in the Legislature. Sellie drew a jack and two two’s but Hartl drew a jack, a nine and a five thereby winning the election, making it one for the books, or perhaps … the bookies.

Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis

Source:

Grand Forks Herald November 13, 1924.

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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