As losing candidates often learn the hard way, at times election victory is just not in the cards.

But that figurative phrase took on a literal meaning last month as the mayor's race in Hanover, Ohio, ended in a 104-104 tie.

In accordance with Ohio law, the potential outcome in case of a post-recount tie had to be determined by either a coin flip or a drawing of cards.

After the local elections board opted for the latter tie-breaker, Chad Waters drew a nine of diamonds that topped Nicole Gieseler's five of spades on Nov. 25.

Then, after that 104-104 deadlock remained unchanged in the Nov. 27 recount, Mr. Waters was declared the final winner.

Ms. Gieseler, a preschool teacher, was gracious in narrow defeat, telling the Newark (Ohio) Advocate: "I'm at total peace with the decision."

And Mr. Waters, who runs a golf store, admirably stressed that he would seek Ms. Gieseler's input as he takes on the mayor's job.

But that wasn't the only tight race in that Ohio area's elections. Ed Bright edged Kermit Williams by a single vote (305-304) for a seat on the Jersey Township Council, and Heath Smith nipped David W. Thompson by three votes (319-316) for a spot on the Hanover Council.

So don't assume that one vote can't make a difference.

And if you want to have a say in who holds elective office, deal yourself into the self-governing process.