Ocala may use Rock, Paper, Scissors as method to decide future elections

OCALA, Fla. — The rock, paper, scissors game is commonly used as a way to settle a dispute, but the city of Ocala may use it as a method of deciding future elections.

WFTV's Berndt Petersen found out the city attorney is looking at the tiebreaker game in an effort to save money.

In Ocala's downtown square, Tim Rehnstrom would rather play music than talk politics, but some issues are too important to ignore.

"It's a very tough decision. It's up to them and they need to make a decision quickly because that makes absolutely no sense," said Rehnstrom, an Ocala resident.

City council is looking for a cheaper way to settle runoff elections that end in a tie.

"If it were a tie, then we'd have to have an additional election. And that is what we're trying to avoid," said Rehnstrom.

They cost taxpayers $55,000. That's why council members suggested settling them with a game of rock, paper and scissors.

It's not that complicated: paper covers rock, rock smashes scissors, scissors cut paper. The winner goes to city hall.

Life-long resident Ed Ray said it could work.

But Ray wonders if $55,000 isn't really that much money considering a $64 million city budget. But he doesn't want council to "waste" a penny. So rock, paper, scissors -- or a coin toss -- might be the answer.

"Maybe they need to count hanging chads," said Ray.

Rehnstrom said it may be a way to settle school yard disputes, but probably not city council elections.

"Rock, you know kills the scissors, and the paper covers the rock. It sounds childish to me," said Rehnstrom.

This isn't the first time a local government has put an election in fate's hands.

In 2004, a coin toss decided a city council election in Groveland.

Richard Flynn and G.P. Sloan were tied after election night. The city did a recount, which also ended in a tie. So, the city manager flipped a coin and Sloan won after calling "tails."