Olivia Ballou wins Walton council coin flip decides to take job - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Coin toss winner going to take council seat after all

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Olivia Ballou and Robert McDonald Olivia Ballou and Robert McDonald
BURLINGTON, KY (FOX19) -

The Boone County Clerk of Courts conducted a coin toss at his office in Burlington Tuesday to determine the winner of a Walton city council race.

Robert McDonald and Olivia Ballou both received 669 votes during the Nov. 6 election. Under Kentucky law, a coin toss must ensue in order to determine the winner.

At the toss, Olivia Ballou won after McDonald called tails and the coin came up heads.

Ballou had said on Monday that she thought it would be best if McDonald won because her husband got a job in Cincinnati and they would be moving out of Walton.

"My husband and I have recently found out, after the election, that we are going to be relocating out of Walton," Ballou said on Monday. "It's not fair to the city and it's not fair to Robert McDonald either for me to go ahead and take that position." 

However, on Tuesday, Ballou said that is in fact taking the council seat because she doesn't know when her family will be moving.

"Since we are moving and our house is going up for sale in January there's no telling when it will sell so I've decided I'm going to serve on City Council since that was what I wanted to run in the first place for,"  Ballou said on Tuesday. "The only reason that I was trying to give it to Robert McDonald to begin with was because we both had won and I wanted somebody in there that the city wanted."

It was revealed to Ballou that she couldn't choose who her successor will be. She would have to be sworn in, resign, and city council would appoint someone to the post.

"Since he (McDonald) may not get it at this point, I want to be in there," Ballou said.

McDonald would have won the election outright had his wife made it the polls.

"She's getting just a few hours of sleep so when it came time for Election Day she said wake me up at 1 o'clock and I'll go up there and get it done," McDonald told FOX19 in a previous interview. "It was my job to wake her up, I didn't think it was gonna come down to that one vote, so I chose to let her sleep and get her rest and it came down to that one vote."

Boone County voter registration supervisor Rick Riddell explained on Monday that Ballou would have to declare that she was not going to serve out the term.

McDonald told FOX19 that he's disappointed.

"I was under the impression that she was not going to take it," he said. "I'll wait until she sells her house and hopefully they'll appoint me. If not, I'll run again in two years."

Ballou will be sworn in on Dec. 10.

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