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Slips of paper are drawn from a bowl to determine the winner of the 2017 election for a seat on the Virginia House of Delegates. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty

Republicans were literally lucky in keeping control of the Virginia legislature last week, with Republican candidate David Yancey's name being pulled out of a bowl to settle a tie that decided the majority.

Why it matters: Virginia isn't the only state with strange tie-breaking traditions. State laws in 27 states prescribe that ties be broken by a drawing of lots, 15 call for a new election and other states call for legislature votes or the governor or election board to decide.

Nevada, South Dakota and Arizona have used a deck of cards to decide a tie.

Minnesota: In 2014, a tie for county commissioner was decided by having the two candidates draw colored blocks from a bag, with the red block winning.

Florida: A tie for a City Council seat was broken in 2014 by first a name drawing, which allowed the winner to first call "heads" or "tails" in a coin flip, which then allowed the winner of that to decide who drew a ping-pong ball from the bag first. Whoever drew the ping-pong ball with the highest number won.

New York, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, Washington and New Hampshire have all settled ties with coin flips.

New Jersey is the only state that does not have a tie-breaking statute.

Go deeper

CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions

CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned states on Monday that "now is not the time" to lift public health restrictions, as the recent dramatic declines in coronavirus cases and deaths "appear to be stalling."

Why it matters: While the average of 70,000 new infections and 2,000 daily deaths is nowhere near the extremely high levels recorded at the start of 2021, the figures are still a poor baseline to "stop a potential fourth surge" — especially with the threat posed by more contagious new variants, Walensky warned.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduces "ultra-millionaire" wealth tax bill

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday introduced a bill in the Senate that would impose a new tax on the assets of America's wealthiest individuals.

Why it matters: The plan, which Warren introduced along with Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) is similar to a proposal that was the centerpiece of Warren's campaign for the presidency in 2020.

3 hours ago - World

Former French President Sarkozy sentenced to jail for corruption

Nicolas Sarkozy, 2011. Photo: XINHUA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

A court in Paris on Monday sentenced former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence after he was found guilty of trying to bribe a magistrate, AP reports.

Driving the news: Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, is the first president in France’s modern history to have gone on trial for corruption, per AP. He was charged with corruption and influence-peddling.