Katie MacDonald was joking the night before Tuesday’s election when she told her husband – a candidate for city council in the small town of Walton, Kentucky – that if he didn’t wake her up to vote the next day, the race would end up as a tie.
He should have taken her more seriously.
Katie, who works night shifts at a hospital as a nurse assistant while finishing up training as a nurse, didn’t wake up in time to vote. Now her husband, Robert, is involved in a 669 to 669 vote tie with his opponent Olivia Ballou.
“Well, obviously she was upset about it,” Robert MacDonald told ABC News. “She feels bad, but it was me who was in charge of waking her up and making sure she got out to vote. I’ve tried to be nice to her today. It’s her birthday.”
Robert MacDonald, 27, intends to request a re-canvassing, a simple re-tally of the vote, which will take place next Thursday. If the result is the same, the winner will be determined by coin toss.
MacDonald said this incident has highlighted an issue with Kentucky’s voting laws – which allows for absentee voting but not early voting like their neighbor, Ohio.
“I’m going to start writing our legislators about early voting. We need early voting in Kentucky,” MacDonald said.
Ballou, who had lost her phone the day before the election, said she wasn’t made aware of the tie until she checked her voicemail, which was filled with eager reporters trying to scoop the story of the Boone County stalemate.
“I’m feeling on edge,” Ballou said. “I know why I want to join city council and I know I’d be great at it. I sincerely feel like we’d both be good at the job.”
Ballou is finishing up her masters in school counseling at Northern Kentucky University. She said she wanted to set an example for her students, and will continue to be involved in local politics.
As for her opponent, he too said he would still stay involved in local government, but next election, he would make sure to wake up his wife.