The flip of a coin or drawing of straws could determine who steps into a Whakatāne District Council spot after two candidates gained an equal number of votes.

Galatea-Murupara ward candidates Alison Silcock and Hinerangi Goodman both received 262 votes in the recent elections. A third candidate running, Jackie Te Amo, received 164 votes.

Candidate Hinerangi Goodman. Photo / File
Candidate Hinerangi Goodman. Photo / File

According to the Local Electoral Amendment Regulations 2003, if two candidates reached a tie "... the electoral officer must determine by lot which candidate is to be declared elected."

Candidate Alison Silcock was philosophical about the tie.

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"Whatever will be will be," she said. "There's not much I can do. I can't go and knock on people's doors and say, 'where's your vote?'"

Candidate Alison Silcock. Photo / File
Candidate Alison Silcock. Photo / File

She was told last night of the tie and expected to be informed today about the next steps.

Silcock said it was not the first time a tie had occurred in the area - in recent years there had been a tie in a Murupara community board.

Goodman and electoral officer Dale Ofsoske have been contacted for comment.

More to come.