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
Grand Forks Herald November 13, 1924.