As the electoral process winds down, we’ve been getting a lot of reports about elections ending in, of all things, a tie.
Here’s what the rules say about that:
Sec. 81. Elections resulting in a tie. – In cases where two (2) or more candidates for punong barangay or sangguniang kabataan chairman received an equal and highest number of votes, or where two (2) or more candidates for sangguniang barangay kagawad or sangguniang kabataan kagawad received the same number of votes for the first or last place, the BBOC, after recording this fact in its Minutes, shall, by resolution, and upon five (5) days notice to all the candidates concerned, hold a special public meeting in which the BBOC shall proceed to the drawing of lots between the candidates who have tied and proclaim as elected the candidates who may be favored by luck.
The other candidates who lost in the draw for the first place, if there are only two (2) who tied, shall automatically be the second placer. If, however, more than two (2) candidates tied for first place, rolled pieces of paper duly marked by the numbers “1”, “2”, “3”, and so on shall be made and the contesting candidates shall draw any one thereof, one after the other, and thereafter publicly open the same.
The number of the rolled paper drawn by each shall decide their ranking. The same procedure shall apply if the tie occurs among the second placers and so on.
If the tie is for the position of punong barangay or sangguniang kabataan chairman or for the seventh place for sangguniang barangay kagawad or sangguniang kabataan kagawad, the one favored by luck and proclaimed as elected shall have the right to assume office in the same manner as if he had been elected by plurality vote. The BBOC shall forthwith issue a certificate stating the name of the candidate who had been favored by luck and his proclamation on the basis thereof.
Nothing in this Section shall be construed as depriving the candidate of his right to contest the election.
Can’t get much clearer than that. However, I did receive one query that I think is worth mentioning. It appears that two candidates in a tie have been refusing to have their fates decided by the toss of a coin, and have been pressuring the BBOC to refer the matter to the COMELEC for adjudication.
In my opinion, there is no need for this referral. The rule is clear enough that recourse to luck is by operation of law. The BBOC has no discretion in the matter – i.e., he doesn’t have the power to decide whether or not to proceed with a drawing of lots, and neither does the COMELEC. As soon as the fundamental circumstances are met – that two or more candidates have ended up in a tie – the procedure kicks in without need for any action by the BBOC except for the sending of notice.
Just another interesting feature of Philippine elections.